Islamabad: (Parliament Times) Advisor to Prime Minister on National History and Literary Heritage (NH&LH), Irfan Siddiqui announced to establish ‘Shehr-e-Kitab’ (City of Books) in Karachi to promote book reading culture among youth. He was speaking during the inauguration ceremony of Kitab Cafe and Reading Room at “Shehr-e-Kitab” established by National Book Foundation here at F-7 Markaz, Islamabad.He said the government was taking several initiatives to promote book reading culture among the citizens however parents also must play their role to build a strong relation of their children with books. The novel facility of Shehr-e-Kitab, consisting over 30 stalls, was launched by NBF in the year 2016 to promote book reading culture through providing books on diversified subjects, academic books and educational material on discounted rates.The facilities of ‘Book Cafe’ and Reading Room at Shehr-e-Kitab will be a gift for the youth of capital, he said. Shehr-e-Kitab after addition of these two facilities will prove as more attractive and effective for the local dwellers.
The book friendly initiative of Shehr-e-Kitab received overwhelming response from the local visitors during the span of two years, he observed.Irfan Siddiqui said it was a matter of great satisfaction that books were being published, sold and studied in a large number during the present challenging era of digitalization.The books worth Rs 27 million were sold out at the small showroom of NBF in Lahore last year. The central showroom of NBF in Islamabad sells books worth around Rs. 60 million every year.
The sale point of NBF in Peshawar sold out books worth Rs 35 million last year, he said. The ceremony was compered by famous poetess and columnist Ms. Aisha Masood. Speaking on the occasion, Parliamentary Secretary for Climate Change, Romina Khurshid Alam appreciated the efforts of NH&LH division under the leadership of Irfan Siddiqui for promoting book culture. She said promotion of book reading culture is indispensable for creating a peaceful society. She said that being NBF book ambassador I have got heart felt relation with National Book Foundation. Chairman National Vocational and Technical Training Commission (NAVTTC), Zulfiqar Ahmad Cheema said connection of youth with books was vital to maintain balance in society.
Promotion of book reading culture discourages intolerance and imbalanced attitudes, he said. Mr. Cheema wished that book and pen must be kept alive in the society at each level. He congratulated MD NBF on the inauguration of new “Kitab Café” and “Reading Room”. Managing Director NBF, Dr. Inam ul Haq Javeid said quality food on discounted rates would be provided to the readers at Book Cafe. Addition of new facilities at Shehr-e-Kitab would attract more visitors, he hoped. Earlier, Advisor to Prime Minister, Irfan Siddiqui formally inaugurated the facilities of Book Cafe and Reading Room. A number of officials, diplomats, Scholars, Sr. Writers and book lovers including Masood Mufti, Maj. Gen ® Tahir, Fakhira Batool, Murtaza Noor, Dr. Tausif Tabassum, Haleem Quershi, Sarfraz Shahid, Shaida Chishti, Afshan Abbasi, Younis Sohail, Nigar Nazar and prominent Social Activist, Dr. Jamal Nasir were also present on the occasion.