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KARACHI, June 8: Several provincial ministers and members of the Sindh Assembly at the Kahani Conference held at the University of Karachi resolved to promote Sindhi literature and culture as part of the government’s policy of raising the standard of education and literacy rate in the country.

Speaking at the conference, organized by KU’s Sindhi Department in collaboration with the Anis Ansari Academy on Saturday on the campus, Sindh Minister for Culture Ms Sassui Palijo, who was chief guest along with Minister for Works and Services Manzoor Hussain Wassan, said that the government was paying utmost attention to the education sector. She observed that youngsters of our society were quite able and talented.

Ms Palijo announced a sum of Rs1 million for the “Sindhi Chair” at the university.

Noted literary figure Amar Jaleel presented the keynote address at the conference.

Highlighting the importance of short story in Sindhi literature, KU Vice-Chancellor Prof Pirzada Qasim Raza Siddiqui, who presided over the conference, said “short story is the lifeline of Sindhi literature and culture.”

He appreciated the keen interest taken by ministers and legislators as well as academia in the conference, and said their presence in such a large number was highly encouraging. He also emphasised the need for fostering reading habit in the new generation.

Prof Siddiqui described Sindh’s civilisation, culture and language as ancient and called for continuous research and availability of the research and other material on the history of this civilisation for the coming generations.

He praised Amar Jaleel for his major contribution to the Sindhi short story, and said he was a big name in English and Urdu literature as well.

The vice-chancellor informed the audience that the University of Karachi had been holding such conferences regularly for the promotion of Sindhi language, civilization and culture.

It was announced that the “Kahani Conference” would be organised every year and the next conference would be held in Larkana.

MPA Haji Muzaffar Ali Shujra suggested that a “Benazir Bhutto Chair” should be established at the University of Karachi.

MPA Munawwar Ali Abbasi, Agha Saleem, Prof Nawaz Ali Shauq, Hameed Sindhi, Dr Badar Ujjan, Taj Baloch, Dr Bashir Ahmed Shah and Rasool Bux Dars also spoke at the conference.

Chairperson of the KU Sindhi department Prof Khursheed Abbasi presented the welcome address.

Later, talking to journalists, Minister for Information Shazia Marri said that the government was doing its utmost for the promotion of Sindhi literature and culture.

Referring to her recent visit to Punjab, she said that the outgoing chief minister of the province, Dost Mohammad Khosa, had assured her of sparing a corner in the Punjab’s biggest library for Sindhi literature. The literature, she added, would be made available by the Sindh government.—APP