Pakistan National Council of the Arts (PNCA) Director General Dr Fouzia Saeed on Sunday said the fifth edition of Pakistan Mother Languages Literature Festival, to be held on Feb 21 to 23, was aimed at promoting over 70 regional languages that depict the linguistic diversity of Pakistan.

Addressing a press conference at PNCA, she said linguistic and cultural potential of Pakistan was not very well known due to which we were not able to celebrate the diversity of the country.

“This festival provides a platform for celebrating all 70 plus languages of Pakistan and encourages language communities to take action for saving these languages from extinction,” she added.

To a question, she said this year’s language festival had been designed especially to highlight the Kashmir issue as it was not just a political issue but a matter of cultural identification.

“PNCA has been organising many events to highlight the Kashmir issue. We also celebrated a Kashmir solidarity week this month to underline the issue of human right violations,” she added.

Three-day Mother Languages Literature Festival begins on Feb 21

The fifth Pakistan Mother Languages Literature Festival will be held at the PNCA in collaboration with Indus Cultural Forum and other institutions who have developed an ambitious programme with added attractions to mark success of the festival, which has become one of the key features of the federal capital’s cultural and literary scene.

Other partners and sponsors of the event include Foundation Open Society Institute (FOSI), Friedrich Naumann Foundation Pakistan (FNF), Alternative Research Initiative (ARI), Punjab Institute of Language, Art and Culture (PILAC), Culture Department Government of Sindh, ECO Science Foundation, Pakistan Science Foundation and Society for Alternative Media and Research (Samar).

The festival coincides with international mother languages day on February 21.

More than 150 writers, intellectuals, artists and activists from 20 Pakistani languages have been invited to take part in the festival.

Speaking at the occasion, Chairperson of Indus Cultural Forum Niaz Nadeem said there would be 20 diverse sessions in the festival, comprising discussions, book launches, poetry recitations, music performances and theatrical performances.

Other attractions will include painting and antiques exhibitions, children’s science fun activities and bookstalls.

“We are striving for equal dignity and respect for all Pakistani languages as they represent rich heritage and folk wisdom of millions of Pakistanis,” Mr Nadeem said.

He said special attention had been given to the constitutional equality of all languages and sessions had been designed in that regard.