Shobhaa De, author and columnist, said here on Friday that she had not encountered even a moment of hostility in Pakistan. It was all hospitality and no hostility, she added.
Ms. De is here to attend the second Islamabad Literature Festival organised by the Oxford University Press.The three-day festival, which will showcase some of the best writers in Pakistan, has Ms. De, Ritu Menon, writer and publisher, and a group performing Dastangoi, an Urdu storytelling art form, from India.
Ms. De had attended literature festivals in Karachi and Lahore, but this is her first visit to Islamabad. To start with, she said she had been keen on visiting the capital since it was a city which was neither here nor there. An Indian diplomat had told her it was like a small European city, but at first glance, it seemed more like Chandigarh.
She arrived to a warm welcome, and hoped that every city in Pakistan would have a literary festival.
If it had not been for the festival, she would not have been able to visit here. It was an important moment for her. The festivals she had attended in Pakistan were liberal, progressive and relaxed, and stood for all that was good for the region.
Opening the festival, Zehra Nigah, writer, said it was important for people to read and enjoy books.
She told The Hindu that it was important to hold such festivals and people were enjoying them despite the prevailing conditions.
Aamer Hussain, writer, and Asif Farrukhi, festival organiser, spoke.