KARACHI - Creating book-reading culture in the country is essential to put the country on the path of progress, as the reading culture and proper education system play pivotal role in nation-building.

Indian books will dominate the five-day 8th Karachi International Book Fair (KIBF), starting from December 6 (tomorrow) at the Karachi Expo Centre, as Indian publishers have acquired 21 stalls in this mega event.

This year 310 stalls will be set up in the fair while international publishers from the US, India, Iran, Singapore, Malaysia, Thailand, Turkey, Saudi Arabia, Germany, UAE and England will attend the international event.

These views were expressed by the organisers of the 8th KIBF-2012, while speaking at a press conference, held at a local hotel here on Tuesday. Aziz Khalid, Chairman of Pakistan Publishers and Booksellers Association, convener to 8th KIBF, Owais Mirza Jamil and Iqbal Muhammad Saleh of Paramount Publishers also spoke on the occasion. 

Aziz Khalid said that Indian publishers were participating in great numbers despite some publishers could not get Pakistani visa. With the presence of a large number of Indian publishers in the event is a positive sign in terms of bilateral relations between the two countries. He reminded that in the last KIBF, held in 2011, the publishers and booksellers had made a record business of Rs100 million in five days of the event by selling and purchasing of books and other printing materials.

He said, “The global event will be unique in its type, in which publishers from all over the country are very keen to take part. Each stall will cost Rs45,000 while self-published authors will pay only Rs,5000 for one stall.”

As many as 38 publishers have reserved stalls in this prestigious event. Sindh Education Minister Pir Mazharul Haq will inaugurate the fair, in which more than 180 national and international publishers, distributers and book sellers will participate. The book fair is designed to attract a common man to have access over the wide varieties of books, published nationally and internationally. The 8th KIBF will have great opportunities for literary circles, book lovers and a common man.

The organisers of the event are striving to provide a platform for international book publishers to meet with Pakistan’s Industry specialists and explore business possibilities in this highly potential market.

Iqbal Muhammad Saleh highlighted the importance of book reading culture and education, and said that Pakistani nation was lagging behind other developing countries in terms of having great reading culture and strong education system. He said that there was a dire need to promote book reading culture in the country so that our nation could achieve the desirable economic and social progress. 

Owais Mirza Jamil said that as many as 300,000 citizens were expected to attend the five-day book fair. One of the main objectives of this event is to promote literacy in the country and create reading habit among the people of the country, he said. A wide variety of books will be displayed on as may as 310 stalls in the event.  He said that the international event was being organised by Pakistan Publishers and Booksellers Association in collaboration with the National Book Foundation, Federal Education Ministry. The government has extended its full support to make this great event very successful, he added.