Lahore Literary Festival returns to New York, with Masood Khan hoping for boost in people-to-people contacts.

NEW YORK -- Lahore Literary Festival (LLF) returned to New York after a four-year break resulting from the Covid pandemic, with Pakistan's Ambassador to the United States, Masood Khan, saying that this premier cultural event will give stimulus to the people-to-people US-Pak relations.

"This is like a breath of fresh air and we must pay tribute to the founders of the Lahore Literary Festival," he said in his opening remarks at the event showcasing Pakistan's intellectual, cultural, historical and creative aspects of life.

The Asia Society, New York, is holding the day-long festival in conjunction with the Lahore Literary Festival, one of South Asia's premier cultural events.

Speakers include Sharmeen Obaid-Chinoy, Kamila Shamsie, Shahbaz Taseer, Marina Fareed, Tahira Naqvi, Sadia Shepard. They will discuss various topics at three separate sessions during the day.

LLF founder and CEO Razi Ahmed welcomed the Ambassador for his presence, as did Rachael Cooper on behalf of Asia Society.

Noting that there were literary festivals taking place in Lahore, Karachi, Islamabad and Muzaffarabad, Ambassador Masood Khan proposed that the organizers should consider holding this event at the United Nations too.

"Take this literary festival inside the United Nations," Khan, who has served at the world body as Pakistan's top diplomat, said.

If literary festivals are held at the U.N., where the functioning is a little bureaucratic, "they would be closer to the people because the U.N. Charter proclaims, "We the People".

In his remarks, Ambassador Masood Khan said that Lahore -- in addition to its many other identities -- one was that of being literary...

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