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ISLAMABAD, Oct 30 (APP): Pakistan High Commissioner to the UK Syed Ibne Abbas said it was need of the hour to bring Pakistan and the UK closer on cultural scene.

He said this in his opening remarks after opening the first edition of Lahore Literary Festival (LLF) in London at the BP Lecture Theatre of the British Museum, said a press release received here Sunday.

Razi Ahmed, LLF’s founder and CEO along with his team put together an impressive show featuring some of the finest writers and opinion-makers from Pakistan, Britain Turkey and elsewhere.

It was a well-attended event that attracted a large number of writers, poets, artists, think tank notables, students and media persons.

Terming the Lahore Literary Festival as an excellent initiative of Razi Ahmed and his team, the envoy said that was a way forward to build bridges between the two countries.

“Next year is the 70th Independence Anniversary of Pakistan as well as that of the establishment of Pakistan, UK diplomatic relations. The High Commission for Pakistan in London has planned a series of events, the first of which will kick start with our participation in the New Year Day Parade in London. I invite you all and the LLF to be part of our
celebrations,” he said.

Speaking about latest developments in Pakistan and the UK, the high commissioner said in Pakistan and UK some momentous developments had taken place.

“We signed China Pakistan Economic Corridor last year in which $46 billion Chinese investment will be coming to Pakistan in energy and infrastructure sectors. Similarly, this June, a very momentous development took place in this country in the form of Brexit. We have to make the best of these developments and opportunities on offer,” the high commissioner said.

The LLF featured a wide range of topics including  literature, politics, literary legacy of Lahore, Kashmir:

reportage, politics and fiction, transforming education in Pakistan, pop culture and readings of poetry and prose.

The delegates included Zia Mohyeddin, Elif Shafak, Razia Iqbal, Andrew Whitehead, Farooq Bajwa, Mirza Waheed, Alex von Tunzelmann, Andrew Lycett, F. S. Aijazuddin, Faiza Butt, Dr. Amin Jaffer, Seema Aziz, Peter Oborne, Dr. Robin Niblett, Hina Rabbani Khar, David Loyn, Lyse Doucet, Naiza Khan, Sarmad Khoosat, Fifi Haroon, Ziauddin Sardar, Nesrine Malik, Aamer Hussein, Ahsan Akbar, Ruth Padel and Ananya Jahanara Kabir.