Islamabad - Special Assistant to the Prime Minister on National Affairs Irfan Siddiqui Thursday said knowledge was the main aspect of human’s dignity and decline in book reading was one of the reasons for extremism and terrorism in the society.

Book reading helped a person to build his character, that was why the people in developed countries were attached with books, he said while addressing the launch of ‘Stone Age Book’ here at the National Book Foundation (NBF).

He said a book was not just a collection of pages, it rather could effect the personality of a person by honing his qualities.  

He said: “We should make concerted efforts at our educational institutions to inculcate the book reading habit in the youth. We will have to publish books with contents commensurate with the challenges and requirements of the current time.” Irfan Siddiqui said e-book technology was a big means to spread knowledge and information. He assured every possible support to the NBF for the revival of book reading culture in the country.

He also appreciated the efforts of NBF Managing Director Professor Dr Inamul Haq Javeid for the promotion of books and book reading culture.

Earlier, he took round of different departments of the Foundation, including NBF Book Park, My Book Shelf, Readers Club, Book Shop and Book Museum.

Dr Inamul Haq Javeid briefed him about the working and departments of the NBF. He said the Foundation had published some 300 books till date while it had planned to publish around 1000 standard books.

It had also planned to establish book sale points on permanent basis in Islamabad  and other cities. The NBF had computerized its system to facilitate the readers, he added.

Chairman Pakistan Academy of Letters Prof Dr Muhammad Qasim Bhugio, Akram Zaki and a large number of literary persons and people from different walks of life also attended the ceremony. Later, prayers were also offered for the departed soul of renowned writer Ishtiaq Ahmed and for the progress and prosperity of the country and the NBF.