KARACHI        -        Sindh Chief Minister Syed Murad Ali has said that we would have to create reading habit and book loving among our new generation because it is the only way to inculcate the spirit of humanity, co-existence and respect for everyone.

This he said while addressing inaugural ceremony of 25th Karachi International Book Fair organised by The Pakistan Publishers & Booksellers Association in association with National Book Foundation here at Expo Centre on Thursday.

The chief minister said that reading habits and hunger for best books which used to be the diction of our seniors have gone away. “This is evident from the fact that hardly any young person is sitting in the audience here,” he said and added “we will have to revive our old culture of finding best books in the shelves of libraries, in the corners of books stores, on the push-carts and footpaths where old books were put on display on weekends,” he said.

Recalling his old days as a student, he said that in the libraries of college and university a student was entitled to borrow only two books and on the day of passing out the student would have to show his or her clearance certificate from the librarian to receive your degree.

“When I was enrolled in an American University I went to library and asked the librarian how many books I borrow here,” Mr Shah recalled and said “she replied as much as you can carry.” This is the difference between them and us and we would have to attain that position if we want to assail in education, the chief minister said.

He said that he used to read lot of books and was appointed in the library in USA University. “In that library I saw those books on Pakistan which have never been seen or displayed here,” he said and added “the historic census reports I found there and make their photo copies and broth them here.”

Murad congratulating the organizers of Karachi International Book Fair organisers, said that they were doing a crusade and “I am glad to hear that every year their visitors were increasing,” he said hoped that the parents would play their due role in developing reading habits among their children.

The chief minister said that in this digital age most of the students read books on the modern gadgets such as mobile phones, Ipads and laptops but the satisfaction and the joy received in reading a hard copy could not be found in digital books. “I am not discouraging reading of digital books but just sharing my personal experience,” he said.  

Murad said that he was planning to establish a digital library in the existing libraries or as separate one which facilities of café, garden and such other facilities.

Media Talk

Talking to media, the chief minister said that he was working hard to fill the vacant position of teachers in Sindh. “There are more than 7,000 vacant positions of teachers and we are planning to recruit best teachers through third party,” he said and added only best teacher was lacking in the system, otherwise the government was offering best salary structure, facilities and working atmosphere in our schools. 

To another question, the he said that the education department was struggling to change the culture under which everyone wanted to get teachers transferred from one school to another. “We have banned the transfers of teachers before the end of academic session,” he said.

Dua case

To a question, the chief minister said that the police were investigating Dua Mangi kidnapping case from different angles. “I have given a chance to the Karachi police to work out the case and recover the kidnapped girl,” he said added he was sure the case would be resolved very soon.

URDU CONFERENCE

Addressing the 12th International Urdu Conference, Sindh Chief Minister Syed Murad Ali Shah welcomed the scholars, literary figures from all over the world in the capital city of the province.

He said the city used to bleed. Burning public private properties, kidnapping for ransom and target killing were orders of the day. “Organising literary events, musical nights and sports activities was impossible even to think but from the last many years this city has been turned into hub cultural activities and the city love and affection,” he said. 

Murad said that it was the literature which has ability to connect and disconnect the different cultures of countries and of the sub-continent. “I am proud to say that despite political differences, different methods of preaching and wearing different dresses and speaking different languages Urdu has connected all of us in the entire sub-continent but has made the entire world like a village. “This is evident from the fact that people of Japan, China, Thailand, France, American and various other countries are sitting here to share their exchange their literary work in Urdu,” he said.

He said that he has given ownership to his language and culture and has assimilated the nearby cultures and languages. “Today we in Sindh and Urdu speak English and words of others languages because we have adopted them and this adoption could not be stopped- this is what it is called assimilation of cultures,” he said.

Murad said that the foundation of plural society in Pakistan was laid by Shaheed Zulfikar Ali Bhutto in the constitution of 1973. “This is why we the people of different religion and languages live here together peacefully and enjoying the equal rights,” he said and urged the writers and poets to guide his government in shaping the cultural policy of Sindh government.