Thursday, October 17, 2019

Posted at: Feb 18, 2017, 1:53 AM; last updated: Feb 18, 2017, 1:53 AM (IST)

3 Indian writers to attend Lahore fest

Second such event, 4 authors had attended Karachi literary fest from Feb 10-12

Signs of thaw?

  • Another sign that ties may be headed back to normalcy is the choice of the new Pakistan Foreign Secretary, Tehmina Janjua
  • She has been personally handpicked by Prime Minister Nawaz Sharif and supersedes Abdul Basit, currently Pakistan’s envoy to India
  • Abdul Basit, who was senior to Janjua, was also in the running for the post
3 Indian writers to attend Lahore fest
Soft diplomacy has begun, but there have been no talks between PM Narendra Modi and Nawaz Sharif in recent past

Simran Sodhi

Tribune News Service

New Delhi, February 17

While the India-Pakistan deadlock continues over hardcore political issues, visible signs of detente have begun to emerge in areas of cultural and soft diplomacy. 

Diplomatic sources confirmed to The Tribune that three Indian authors will be attending the Lahore literary festival starting February 24. The three-day event will see the participation of a number of celebrated writers and thinkers from all over South Asia.

British journalist Anita Anand and historian William Dalrymple will also be in attendance to discuss their new book Kohinoor. Interestingly, the International Advisory Committee for the Lahore Fest 2017 comprises Maina Bhagat of the Apeejay Kolkata Literature Fest and Namita Gokhale of the Jaipur Literature Festival, among others. This comes close on the heels of the previous ice breaker in the relationship with the Indian Council of Cultural Relations sponsoring four Indian authors to the Karachi literary festival held from February 10-12; known Indian author Urvashi Butalia was among those present. 

The indications from both India and Pakistan seem to veer towards more positivity. With Sharif now in charge of the foreign policy, the next step in the arrangement is the likely appointment of a new Pakistan envoy to India. Basit has already completed three years and will head back to Pakistan soon. His successor, sources indicate, is likely to be Pakistan’s ambassador to Turkey, Sohail Mahmood. 


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