KARACHI  - Price hike in books have spread a sense of reservation in the county’s students, academicians, intellectuals, booksellers, publishers and parents, which is adding in the vanishing ‘book reading culture’.

Major reason in increase in book prices is Government duties on import of papers.

No Pakistani government have ever remove duty from import of papers, which is the main reason behind mounting rates of books in the country and perhaps exposing the not-so-friendly policies of Pakistan towards education. Four paper producing companies are in local market and are unable to meet the demand.

On the other hand, according to Indian media, “The book business in India is growing steadily, registering almost a 15 per cent growth year on year. Book lovers' passion for reading is fuelled by the fact that publishing industry in India is booming.”

Chairman Pakistan Publishers and Booksellers Association (PPBA) Aziz Khalid and Owais Mirza Jamil told The Nation that media can play pivotal role spreading awareness to remove duties from import of papers in the country to make books cheaper. “Low cost paper makes us able to publish variety of books on nominal prices for masses. They said that the organisation of the recent five-day 9th Karachi International Book Fair (9th KIBF) 2013, held from 5th to 9th December at the Karachi Expo Centre, had proved the country has large numbers of booklovers.

More than 400,000 people attended the global educational event that made the book traders to make huge business during the five days fair, Aziz Khalid said and pointed out that book fair participants were demanding authorities to get down prices of books in the country.

Renowned intellectual and senior poet, Firasat Rizvi said that it was unfortunate that an author printed only one thousand or five hundred books for more than 180 million people.  A senior poet and Urdu linguistic expert, Sahir Lukhnawi maintains that books are the real best friend of a man.

“They shape the future of generation, and give the people a vision and help them progress. Books give people knowledge, and protect cultures and languages of societies. But this can only be possible if good quality books are easily available at reasonable prices,” he said.

mushaira: Sir Syed University of Engineering & Technology and Anjuman Taraqqui Urdu Pakistan jointly organized a mushaira at the campus. It was presided over by the international Urdu poet Dr. Satya Paal Anand, while Engr. Muhammad Adil Usman, Chancellor Sir Syed University was the chief guest. Prominent poets of Dabistan-e-Karachi participated in the musharia and presented their poems.

Speaking on the auspicious occasion, Chancellor Muhammad Adil Usman said that following the tradition of Aligarh Muslim University, we endeavour to promote and work hard for the development of literary activities and culture. This musharia is a living example of our deep commitment.  Engr. Muhammad Adil Usman pointed out that mushaira is an important part of a civilized society and it provides a platform for poets to express their inner feelings, vision and thought at public level. Being a creative catalyst, Mushaira helps in the promotion of a healthy trend in the society, and such healthy activities not only enhance the mental capability of the youngsters, but also keep them away from useless activities.

Famous poets of the country Professor Sehar Ansari, Jazib Qureshi, Rashid Noor, Nasim Nazish, Javed Manzar and Fatima Hassan enthralled the audience with their emotional and inspirational poetry. Other poets included Asif Raza, Sajid Rizvi, Dr. Ikram ul Haq Shauq, Ahmed Umar Sharif and Shama Afroz.

Internationally recognized distinguished Urdu poet Satya Paal Anand was the star attraction. He presented his fresh poems along with some famous old poems as wad demanded by the audience. He was tremendously appreciated for his beautiful poetry and his poetry brought audience to their feet.

The function was also attended by a galaxy of intellectuals, poets and luminaries.