KARACHI: President Dr Arif Alvi on Saturday laid a great emphasis on digitalisation of books to save and protect them and said that the future of the country depended on education and knowledge.

He expressed these views in the launching ceremony of 1st Karachi Festival of Books and Libraries at Governor House here on Saturday.

The president said that digitalisation of historical books and material was necessary.

He said that books played a vital role in developing associations with others. “Access to information has become easy these days, which was difficult in the past,” he added.

While referring to the present era, the president said that it was a strange period as most children preferred using mobile over reading books.

He said that his grandson and granddaughter did not read books except those on the school syllabus.

The president revealed that he was fond of reading and gave its credit to his parents. Dr Alvi said he read approximately 30 to 40 books in a year.

He said that Muslims had worked hard on libraries whereas they started using press in 1730 or 1735 almost 300 years later than the rest of the world due to some reservations.

He said that 20.62 million children were out of school and it was a big challenge for the country.

Earlier, co-founders of the festival Aziz Memon and Syed Khalid Mahmood, president of Karachi Library Association Farheen Mahmood, and others spoke on the occasion.

Later, President Dr Arif Alvi distributed shields.

Associated Press of Pakistan former bureau chief Abdul Qadir Qureshi and former sports report Ehsan Qureshi were also among the recipients of shields.

Published in Dawn, March 3rd, 2024

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