Indian writers not to participate at International Urdu Conference in Pakistan

30 November 2016, 07:46 PM
Handmade wooden pens used by traditional calligraphers seen at the Urdu bazaar area in Delhi. (Representational Image)
Handmade wooden pens used by traditional calligraphers seen at the Urdu bazaar area in Delhi. (Representational Image)

Indian writers and poets will miss this year's International Urdu Conference in Karachi due to the ongoing tension on the India-Pakistan border, a media report said on Wednesday. 

The ninth edition of the International Urdu Conference hosted by the Arts Council of Pakistan, Karachi will be held from December 1 to December 4, council member Ahmed Shah said.

"Every year Indian writers and poets attend the moot, lending it variety. This time round, owing to the tensions on the Pakistan-India border, they will not be seen reading their papers or taking part in different sessions as panelists," Shah was quoted as saying by 'Dawn' newspaper. 

Highlighting Indian writers and poets contribution, Shah said he did not believe in dividing literature on the basis of religion. 

Though the Indian writers like Gulzar and Gopichand Narang have contributed substantially to Urdu literature, these days they are afraid of visiting Pakistan as they fear they would be treated badly on their return to India, Shah said. 

Shah, however, said he would try and have some of the writers get connected to the conference via video or audio link. 

Urdu scholar from countries like the US, Germany, Denmark, the UK, Finland and Egypt would participate in the conference, he said, adding that almost all renowned writers and poets from Pakistan had been invited. 

Tension between India and Pakistan has increased after the attack on an Indian Army base in Uri on September 18 and the resultant "surgical strike" on terrorist launchpads in Pakistan-occupied Kashmir by the army 10 days later. 

Since then, cross-border firings have increased killing soldiers and civilians on both sides. This week, 12 people, including three Pakistani soldiers, were killed in alleged Indian cross-border firings. 

The Indian response came after the Indian Army warned of "heavy retribution" following the killing of three of its soldiers, with the body of one of them mutilated in a cross-LoC attack. Pakistan has denied as "false" and "baseless" its troops were responsible for the mutilation and deaths of Indian soldiers.

First Published: Wednesday, November 30, 2016 07:01 PM
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