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Arts Council to host Pakistan Literature Festival Balochistan in Quetta

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QUETTA: Arts Council of Pakistan Karachi held a press conference at the Quetta Press Club regarding the forthcoming two-day Pakistan Literature Festival 2024 (Quetta Chapter) to be held in Quetta, Balochistan.

Press conference featured distinguished personalities including Sitara-e-Imtiaz, Hilal-i-Imtiaz, President Arts Council of Pakistan Karachi, Muhammad Ahmed Shah, who provided insights into the festival’s agenda accompanied by Secretary-General of Quetta Press Club, Banaras Khan, and president of the Union of Journalists Khalil Ahmed. Muhammad Ahmed Shah announced that the inauguration of Pakistan Literature Festival 2024 (Quetta Chapter) is scheduled to take place on May 15th at the BUITEMS University Quetta.

Renowned personalities from the fields of arts, entertainment, politics, literature, and other sectors, will participate in the festival. Expressing his sentiments, President Muhammad Ahmed Shah stated that organizing a festival in Balochistan is a heartwarming endeavour. I harbour no animosity; I have come to Quetta to host a literary festival. I aspire to embrace all languages and cultures.”

Addressing the gathering at the Quetta Press Club, President Muhammad Ahmed Shah remarked, Arts Council of Pakistan Karachi is the only council not governed by the government.” He underscored the deep-rooted historical ties between Balochistan and Sindh, noting the active participation of Balochi writers and poets in Karachi. Since I arrived, I’ve made it a point to transcend any particular language and embrace all languages together. He mentioned awarding prizes to Balochi literature and extending support to Pashto literature through the Khyber Pakhtunkhwa region.

The festival encompasses various local languages including Balochi, Brahvi, and Pashto, with 75% of participants hailing from the province. Furthermore, sessions focusing on the ancient ties between Balochistan and Sindh have been arranged. President Muhammad Ahmed Shah affirmed that while this marks their first festival, it certainly won’t be their last, expressing the council’s commitment to sustaining this initiative. He highlighted the involvement of literary figures alongside government representatives, aiming to address the issues pertinent to Balochistan. He further stated that I may not be a politician, but I am certainly a part of society.” He revealed that the youth from Lyari, which is often referred to as the Mini-Balochistan, are actively involved in the Arts Council of Pakistan Karachi. “We have students from Khuzdar who come to study. He mentioned that “I have a vision that encompasses everyone through a single lens. I am grateful to the Quetta Press Club for extending us a warm welcome.

After consultations, we decided not to organize any musical programs in solidarity with Palestine. However, he pledged to organize a grand musical festival, bringing together Balochistan’s musicians. The impact of this festival will be felt after its conclusion, he asserted. He praised the remarkable work of the Balochi Academy and highlighted the presence of Balochi books in the library of the Arts Council Karachi. He also said that I am endeavouring to connect art institutions.

He expressed concern about the disillusionment among Balochistan’s youth, asserting that the issue of Balochistan cannot be resolved through a hundred years of struggle. He stated that Restless and unemployed youth will not rest until they are assured. He also emphasized that unless circumstances improve, the problem will persist. He declared “God willing, we will hold a musical program at Ayub Stadium when conditions improve. He also clarified that this is not a political but a cultural festival. The purpose of the political sessions at the Pakistan Literature Festival is to present public representatives before the people. President Muhammad Ahmed Shah further stated, “We are bearing the expenses of this festival ourselves. The Balochistan government is with us, and the Culture Department is cooperating with us using its funds.

The Pakistan Literature Festival includes joint cooperation from Balochistan University of Information Technology, Engineering and Management Sciences.” On this occasion, Secretary General Banaras Khan said that he thanked the Arts Council of Pakistan Karachi for organizing such a big literary festival in Quetta, President of the Union of Journalists Khalil Ahmed said that organizing a literature festival in Quetta is a welcome thing for Balochistan. The scope of literature will be wide.

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