QUETTA-First ever Balochistan Culture and Literature Festival will be held in September this year.

After Karachi, Lahore and Islamabad, Quetta will also be having its culture and literature festival.

It was decided in the meeting that Balochistan Culture and Literature Festival will be held on 24, 25 and 26th September this year.

This was decided in a meeting chaired by Noor ul Haq Baloch, Secretary Culture department of Balochistan, on Wednesday.

Meeting was attended by Former Federal Minister Zobaida Jalal, members of Civil Society Balochistan, officials of culture department and people from literary academies.

This initiative is jointly taken by culture department of Balochistan and Civil Society Balochistan.

This festival will be held in University of Balochistan to give an academic touch to this festival and also allow the university students to participate in the festival.

Culture Department of Balochistan will be the lead organizer of the festival and different range of stakeholders will also be contacted for the festival.

It was revealed in the meeting by Zobaida Jalal that Oxford University Press (OUP) has already agreed to provide technical support to the proposed festival.

“Balochistan Culture and Literature Festival will not only showcase culture and literature of Balochistan, it will also allow people of Balochistan to interact with national level authors and artists,” said Noor ul Haq Baloch.

He added that Balochistan has versatile and multi-Cultural society and it needs to be promoted and presented.

He promised full support of his department in making the proposed festival a success which in his words “would promote and present a soft image of Balochistan to the world.”

Balochistan Culture and Literature Festival will comprise of multiple sessions which will be about culture, literature, arts, music, theater, archaeology, politics, education, CPEC and many others, it was decided in the meeting.

Keeping track of modern day realities, a full-fledged social media campaign would be carried out for the Balochistan Culture and Literature Festival using the hashtag #BCLF16.

Zobaida Jalal, who is the pioneer of the idea of Balochistan Culture and Literature Festival, said “I see this [Balochistan Culture and Literature Festival] as amalgamation of intelligent minds from Balochistan which will make this event once in a lifetime learning opportunity.

She added that through Balochistan Culture and Literature Festival it will be proved that Balochistan is not lesser than any province in Pakistan in terms of Historical, Cultural and linguistic diversity.

It was decided in the meeting that this festival will not be a one-time event and it will be held on annual basis from this year onwards.

Abdul Baseer Khan, a member of Civil Society Balochistan who attended the meeting, said that “Unfortunately, culture and literature of Balochistan has not been presented on international and national forums. Balochistan Culture and Literature Festival will help in shedding off the negative image of Balochistan and will show the world that the dwellers of Balochistan are literature loving.”

Secretary Culture instructed officials of Culture department and volunteers of Civil Society Balochistan to finalize the basic theme and agenda of the festival by 15th June.