India-Pakistan relations have always been strained, but one might be surprised to learn that the Kolkata International Book Fair (KIBF) organisers wrote to the Pakistan National Book Foundation two months ago inviting Pakistani publisher participation, and got no reply.
Now the Indian Publishers and Booksellers Guild Secretary Tridib Chatterjee has written directly to Iran Khan, Pakistan’s new Prime Minister, asking for his intervention.
We have written to the Prime Minister of Pakistan, Imran Khan on November 28 and am hopeful of the country’s participation for the first time as six publishers have shown interest in our invitation.
Khan has spoken at the 2012 Kolkata Literary Festival, an event held with the main KIBF, and Chatterjee hopes that Khan will remember his visit fondly and be of a mind to encourage publishers to cross the border.
(Khan) came to the Book Fair in 2012 and experienced the gathering and footfall himself. (so) we wrote to him reminding about 2012 when he was a special guest and visited Kolkata Literature Festival. That time he was a participant but not a Prime Minister, now things have changed. So we are hoping for the best.
The Kolkata International Book Fair, one of the largest book fairs in the world, with usually over 2 million visitors, is set to open January 30 for twelve days, although visitor numbers may be constrained as the regular venue, Milan Mela, is still being renovated.
The sixth Kolkata Literature Festival will be held from February 7 to 9 within the main fair.
With the Mayan nation Guatemala the guest of honour next year there will be eleven Latin American countries in attendance, as well as UK, the US, Russia, China, Japan, Vietnam and Bangladesh.
Via India’s Millenium Post.