KARACHI - Federal Education Minister Mir Hazar Khan Bijarani has said that new education policy will be announced soon as the government has attached great importance to the development of the education. Talking to journalists after the inauguration of 5th Karachi International Book Fair (KIBF) 2009, at Karachi Expo Centre here on Thursday, the minister said that only education could guarantee a nation respectable place in the comity of nations. No country could make development in any sphere of life without Education, he pointed out, adding that the countrys internal instability was the main cause behind the delay in the restoration of the students unions at educational institutions. The federal education minister inaugurated the five-day international event, jointly organised by the Pakistan Publishers and Booksellers Association (PPBA), the National Book Foundation (PBF) and the Federal Education Ministry. The international event is the premier event of its type in Pakistan. Around, 200,000 people are expected to attend the five-day event in which internationally reputed publishers from Pakistan and many countries, including the US, Iran, Saudi Arabia, Singapore, Malaysia, Germany, India and Britain have put their masterpieces on display. Around 240 book-stalls have been set up while books are being sold with 10 to 33 percent discount. The huge participation of the citizens at the occasion has removed all security concerns, expressed by experts in connection with the International Book Fair, in which publishers and booksellers from nine countries are participating. The federal minister said that new national education policy would be announced after organising an inter-provincial ministers conference. Earlier, speaking at the inaugural ceremony, he said that the National Book Foundation had taken up a number of initiatives for the promotion of reading culture including the establishment of libraries at different levels, operationalising the concept of book clubs for enhancing access to printed word providing incentives for books reading among prisoners and appointing book ambassadors to mobilise the masses. He said that the government was trying to reduce paper prices so that books could be published on nominal and affordable prices. The international book fair is a concrete step towards the promotion of knowledge and nation building, he said and urged the national and international publishers to create firm partnership among themselves. Speaking on the occasion, renowned intellectual Jawed Jabbar said that it was the collective responsibility to create a literary society where people kept books as friend. He denounced the announcement by the provincial government declare holiday on December 10, 2009, and said that the government should avoid taking such directives that are against the education. Convener to the KIBF Organising Committee, Iqbal Muhammad Saleh said that the governments role was appreciable in term of supporting in organisation of 5th Karachi International Book Fair (KIBF), while medias positive role can not be ignored in this regard. The international event has successfully gained the attention of the intellectuals, students, teachers and people from all walks of life. PPBA Chairman Aziz Khalid said that the interest of the citizens in the international event had proved that Karachiites loved books. It is worth mentioning that a large numbers of citizens, belonging to all walks of life, have visited the book fair despite transport strike, called by Karachi transporters in the city.