National Book Fair festivities end with a pledge to befriend books

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Sardar Masood, Sartaj Aziz, Raja Zafarul Haq among guests on concluding day

Zubair Qureshi

The four-day National Book Day festivities concluded here on Monday at the Pak-China Friendship Centre. President of the AJK Sardar Masood Khan, Deputy Chairman Planning Commission Sartaj Aziz, Leader of the House in the Senate Raja Zafarul Haq and Senator Lt Gen (R) Abdul Qayyum were the noted guests at the concluding day festivities.
Adviser to PM on National History & Literary Heritage, Irfan Siddiqui, Secretary National History & Literary Heritage, Engr Amir Hassan and Managing Director of the National Book Foundation (NBF) Dr Inamul Haq Javed received the guests and took them to various stalls where books were being offered on up to 50pc discount. They took keen interest in various stalls and exchanged views with the visitors, families and the students of various colleges and universities there. Visitors expressed their joy at the grand book fair by the NBF and said they were lucky to get books on almost half prices. They vowed that they would read books throughout the year.
A book “Plight of Kashmir” by renowned scholar Dr Maqsood Jafri was also launched on the occasion. President of Azad Jammu & Kashmir Sardar Masood Khan while addressing the book launching ceremony said that recent incidents of killings in Shopian, human right violations in Indian Occupied Kashmir and the unabated cross-border violations by the Indian occupation forces are unforgivable which clearly constitute as war crimes.
Sardar Masood Khan while addressing the book launching ceremony as Chief Guest said the book was a timely addition, as the Kashmir dispute remains unresolved even after passage of 70 years. The book, he said, had addressed key issues relating to the Kashmiris and rightly painted the human right situations in IHK. Condemning the recent killings in Shopian, the AJK President said the martyrdom of over 20 Kashmiris under the guise of security operations was a matter of great concern which needed to be impartially investigated. He said that this incident was not an exception, but these so-called ‘operations’ took place on a daily basis leading to the unaccountable murder of innocent Kashmiris who are demanding their right to self-determination.
He congratulated the Adviser to PM Irfan Siddiqui and NBF team under Dr Inam Javed for organizing a mega event to popularize book reading habits among the people, particularly, youth.
A conference titled “Quaid Kitaabon kye ayena Maen” (Quaid’s life as portrayed in books) was also a highlight of the concluding day events. Deputy Chairman Planning Commission Sartaj Aziz was the Chief Guest on the occasion. Addressing the conference he said that Quaid-i-Azam ‘s life was the main secret of the success of two-nations ideology. The Quaid-i-Azam always struggled for this cause and always stressed that the Muslims of subcontinent must given the right to elect their own representatives. He said that Quaid Azam had also presented the separate electoral policy for the Muslims, which enabled the Muslims to achieve about 85-90 percent of provincial assemblies’ seats in the election of 1945, adding that the election had made it clear that Muslims of Subcontinent wanted a separate homeland for themselves.

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