ISLAMABAD: Adviser to Prime Minister on National History and Literary Heritage Irfan Siddiqui on Saturday said Year-2017 has been declared as Zarb-e-Qalm to highlight soft image of country. Addressing the third-day of 4th International Literary Conference, "Language, Literature and Society," he said the objective of this conference is to promote tolerance, counter extremism and give chance to literary people of different countries to sit together.
He informed that on the directives of Prime Minster, a number of steps have been taken to nurture literary culture and norms in the country, adding on his request, the PM has increased endowment fund for welfare of literary people from Rs 300 million to Rs 500 million.
More than 1000 literary figures, scholars, university faculty members, students and people from different walks of life are attending the forth International Conference, being organized by Pakistan Academy of Letters from January 5 to January 8. Intellectuals from Afghanistan, Iran, Singapore, the Maldives, Finland, Azerbaijan, China, Omen, Nepal, Lebnan, Uzbakistan and various other countries besides representatives from all provinces and regions of the country are attending the conference.
Irfan Siddiqui said they have increased the accidental death grant for literary figures from Rs. 2,00,000 to one million while the health cover has been increased from Rs. 1,00,000 to Rs. 2,00,000. The adviser informed that they have also increased number of scholarship for literary people from 500 to 1000 while the monthly stipend from Rs. 10,000 to Rs. 13,000.
He stated that a television programme has also been launched to give voice to literary issues among the hard core problems related politics, economics or other current affairs. Irfan Siddiqui also stated that the government has also planned to support writers who could not have resources to publish their literary writing. For the purpose, he added, a committee would be formed which would analyze the transcript and take decision to publish it on government funding.