LAHORE - Punjab Education Minister Rana Mashhood has said that the Guinness World Records has certified Punjab Youth Festival 2014 as the biggest youth festival of the world.

Addressing the inaugural function of a two-day Children’s Literature Festival 2014 at Children Library Complex on Friday, the provincial minister said that 4 million Punjab youth, participating in the youth festival, made the country proud. He added that Pakistani nation would prove its metal everywhere in the world.

“If we want to progress, our young generation will have to make friendship with books,” Rana Mashhood said, adding only those nations progressed which knew the importance of books. He also announced that the Punjab government would promote book friendship in the province as a “social movement” with the collaboration of Institute of Education and Awareness and Oxford University Press.

He said that children literature festivals will be arranged in every city of Punjab so that habit of reading could be promoted.

Mashhood, on the occasion, thanked Ambassador of European Union Gunnar Wigemark for participating in Children Literature Festival who, in his address, declared Lahore as center of literature and culture. Gunnar said that renowned writers, poets, artists and musicians were the real identity of this historical city.

Institute of Education and Awareness Chairperson Dr Narmeen, Director Programmes Dr Baela Raza Jameel, Senior Programme Officer Open Society Foundation Nargis Sultana, Senior Regional Manager HBL Tauqeer Mazhar, prominent artists Nadia Jameel and Managing Director Oxford University Press Ameena Saiyid also addressed the inaugural function.

Students of Government School for the Visually Impaired Allama Iqbal Town and Sanjannagar Higher Secondary School presented tableaus and other recreational programmes.