KARACHI  - Rajmohan Gandhi, grandson of the Mahatma Gandhi, said that people on both sides in India and Pakistan want peace and ready for dialogue but both the governments should announce relax visa policy. He said these literature festivals would help bring both the nations closer.

He was speaking at the opening of 5th Karachi Literature Festival on Friday at Beach Luxury Hotel. Ameena Saiyid, founder and director of the KLF and managing director of Oxford University Press (OUP), announced that 28 titles would be launched at the KLF this year.

In his concluding remarks, Asif Farrukhi, co-founder of the festival, said that we are all an equal part of Pakistani literature. A number of foreign dignitaries, representatives of sponsors also made their speeches, in which they all hailed the KLF for enabling the making of new narratives, and a new image of Pakistan.

Amid a thunderous applause, Barbara Wickham, British Council’s director for Sindh and Balochistan, announced that after a very long time the British Council will soon reopen its Karachi offices. The inauguration ceremony ended with the announcing of prizes.

During the book launching session of “The Kashmir Dispute 1947” by AG Noorani, Iqbal Akhund the Former Advisor on Foreign Affairs and National Security said that: “I am an optimist but a skeptical optimist. The ground reality is Kashmir does not want to be part of India. It has not wanted that for over 65 years and it is not likely to change its mind in the next 65 years.”

Victoria Scholfield, a writer and expert on South Asia, said that we are looking for an elusive win-win solution.

 Kashmir, however, can't be carved out like a piece of real estate.

“The best solution for Kashmir is that both countries should leave Kashmir alone and a self governing (khumukhtar) Kashmir should establish friendly relations with both countries. Eventually this will happen but after suffering much harm and damage”, she added.