Indian intellectuals and writers due today
By Waqar Gillani
LAHORE: A 14-member delegation of Indian poets, writers and intellectuals will arrive in Pakistan on Friday (today) on the eight-day visit to attend the Pen and Peace Conference. The Foundation of South Asian Association for Regional Cooperation (SAARC) Writers and Literature has arranged the visit in collaboration with Action Aid-Pakistan and Hawwa Associates.
The delegation will be received at the Wagah border at 4pm. This is the first delegation of Indian writers to visit Pakistan. Ajeet Kaur, a Punjabi writer and founder-president of the foundation and also founder-chairman of the Academy of Fine Arts and Literature, will head the delegation.
The visitors expected are Dr Gopi Chand Narang, Jeelani Bano, Shehpar Rasool, Professor Surijit Paatar, Jagtar Singh, Taran Gujral, Dr Indira Goswami, Sayeeda S Hameed, Manohar Shyam Joshi, Chitra Mughal, Dr Kamal Kumar, Arpana Kaur and filmmaker Tandon. The delegation will attend conferences in Lahore, Karachi and Islamabad. Pakistani writer Kishwar Naheed will organise these conferences.
Ajeet Kaur was born in Lahore and has been liaising with literary writers and movements.
Ms Kaur in a message sent to Daily Times said the first conference of writers from Pakistan and India was organised by her through the Academy of Fine Arts and Literature in September 1987.
She said, “This is the second Pakistani-Indian Writers’ Conference and is a prelude to the ninth SAARC Writers Conference to be held in Pakistan in January 2004. This is also the eighth conference of writers organised by our foundation in all the seven SAARC countries,” she added. Pakistani writer Zahida Hina was given the SAARC Literary Award at the fourth SAARC Writers’ Conference in December 2001.
The Indo-Pak Peoples’ Forum for Peace and Democracy will host a reception for the Indian guests at Avari Lahore on Saturday (tomorrow). The delegation will meet Government College University students to discuss literature and attend the three-day Pen and Peace Conference in Islamabad on October 19. The delegation will return to New Delhi on October 24 over the Wagah border.