The South Asian Literature festival is a three-day event which is set to begin Friday. But while the festival would see participation from eight SAARC countries, it would not host writers from Pakistan this year.Organised by the Foundation of SAARC Writers and Literature (FOSWAL), the literature festival would take place at the India International Centre in New Delhi.
Confirming the news of Pakistani writers not being a part of the lit-fest Ajeet Cour, FOSWAL Founder and President, told PTI, "We did not get permission from the authorities to invite delegates from Pakistan".
The theme for this year's festival is 'Beyond Borders' and 'Endeavoring for peace and tranquility in the region'. The other eight SAARC countries which would be a part of the lit-fest include Afghanistan, Bangladesh, Bhutan, Malaysia and India among others.
Cour further said that this year more delegates and writers are expected to be a part of the literature festival, as compared to the previosu editions. In fact, they would have made it a four-day festival had they known about more delegates coming for it this year.
"We have over 150 delegates coming from different SAARC countries this year. This is the highest number of delegates in the history of this festival...A good number of delegates registered themselves at the last hour and that caused a lot of difficulties. I sincerely apologise to delegates for getting less time to discuss their papers," she told PTI.
Previously the festival has been hosted at Dhaka, Kathmandu, Lahore, Islamabad, Colombo, Kandy, Thimphu and Male.