Karachi – U.S. Consul General Brian Heath delivered opening remarks at the seventh Karachi Literature Festival (KLF). Festival founders Ameena Saiyid and Asif Farrukhi also attended. The U.S. Agency for International Development (USAID) and the Consulate General are proud to once again sponsor the event.
“The Karachi Literature Festival is one of the most anticipated and important cultural events in Karachi,” said the U.S. consul general. “No other forum provides such a setting for writers, intellectuals, and artists from across Pakistan and around the world. It highlights Pakistan’s dynamic literary tradition and Karachi’s rightful place as a cultural capital,” said Mr. Heath.
The U.S. consul general pointed to USAID’s Pakistan Reading Program as doing much to advance the cause of literacy. The five-year, $160 million project aims to improve the reading ability of more than 1 million children in Pakistan. In addition, USAID and the Sindh government are partnering on the Sindh Basic Education Program. This $155 million program seeks to increase and sustain student enrollment in primary, middle and secondary schools in seven districts of Northern Sindh and five towns of Karachi.
At the festival, USAID is sponsoring a panel discussion on the role that communities and parents play in encouraging literacy and reading as well as a session on mother tongues as a medium of instruction and learning. Meanwhile, U.S. Consulate General Karachi is hosting panel discussions on cultural heritage and preservation, and the role of U.S. government exchange programs in promoting literature and the arts in Pakistan.
“We realize that it is important not only to develop basic literacy, but also to support and promote talented artists and young people who continue to contribute to Pakistan’s proud literary tradition,” said the U.S. consul general. “Besides learning to read, we want participants to feel engaged with art that speaks to their experiences and aspirations.”
The Karachi Literature Festival 2016 started from 5th February and will last till the 7th of February.