The two-day Islamabad Literature Festival concluded here on Wednesday with over 15000 participants attending 35 sessions. Seventy leading literature and non-fiction English and Urdu writers interacted with the participants. The highlight of the festival was the participation of youth, who showed keen interest in literary and current affairs issues.

Granta Award winner Kamila Shamshie read extracts from her upcoming novel, which is based on the period between 1915 and 1930 and revolves around a Pathan soldier who gets wounded in the First World War and is taken to Britain for treatment. It also gives a peep into the life in Peshawar in that period.

Former chief of Institute of Strategic Studies and now a PTI leader Ashraf Jehangir Qazi said that strategic depth is a nonsense policy. However, he said, we should strive that Afghanistan does not become an India-friendly country. He said that we are at a very dangerous curve. He said that Pakistan should develop links, liaison and coordination with all the parties in Afghanistan.

Riaz Khokhar, former Foreign Secretary, said that Taliban are not a unified force but a commonwealth of bullies, but Mullah Umar is given respect but he does not have control over the matters. He remarked that Afghan people do not want peacekeepers from anywhere including Muslim countries. He said that if Afghan Army is too big and powerful, the democratic credentials of the government in Kabul would be under threat.  Dr AH Nayyar at the technical session on "Nuclear Pakistan: an overview of the strategic dimensions" said basing on nuclear deterrence, we thought that we have freedom to go to covert war. –Staff Reporter