MANSEHRA: The participants of a one-day Hindko literary and cultural conference have demanded of the government to set up a Department for Hindko studies at the Hazara University. The demand was made through a resolution passed at the conference. A Peshawar-based literary and cultural organization, Gandhara Hindko Board, and Gandhara Hindko Academy, had jointly arranged the moot. The participants were writers, poets, researchers and people from several walks of life. They hailed from Hazara, Peshawar, Islamabad and Azad Jammu Kashmir. A noted Hindko writer, poet, research scholar and General Secretary of the Gandhara Hindko Board, Muhammad Ziauudin, was the conference coordinator. Muhammad Akhtar Naeem was the convener of the moot while Naz Shah and Muhammad Raza Khan were deputy conveners. Papers were read out on the occasion to highlight the importance of the Hindko language and culture. There was a special focus on the literature and culture of the Hazara division. A United States-based writer, researcher and the first vice-chancellor of the Hazara University, Professor Dr Ashraf Adeel, attended the conference through a video link. He shed light on the linguistic and cultural diversity of the area. Speaking as the chief guest, Hazara University Vice-Chancellor, Professor Dr Muhammad Idrees said all languages were an asset to humanity and deserved attention. He praised the efforts being made for the promotion of Hindko which was the second largest spoken language of Khyber Pakhtunkhwa.