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Lahore International Book Fair: PTI Reps A No Show Despite Formal Invitations

The 5-day Lahore International Book Fair (LIBF) kick-started on Thursday, 31st January, at Lahore Expo Centre in Johar Town.

Since no one from the ruling Pakistan Tehreek-e-Insaf (PTI) government showed up despite formal invitations from the LIBF organizers, the event was inaugurated by the future leaders of our country.

And they all look so happy.

Naya Daur contacted LIBF organizer Saad Malik who said LIBF stakeholders were disappointed since two of the PTI bigwigs that were invited did not show up.

Education Minister Shafqat Mehmood and Punjab Governor Muhammad Sarwar were formally invited. Initially, they acknowledged the invitations but later did not respond to LIBF’s calls and messages, said Saad.

Picture wall at the LIBF entrance. (Photo: LIBF/Facebook)

“The event is being organized for thirty five years now and this is the first time a government representative failed to show up,” he said, adding that in previous years, the event has been graced by ex-Punjab Governor Salman Taseer, PML-N president Shehbaz Sharif, Khalid Maqbool among others.

The Punjab government also did not allow LIBF advertisement relief for the event, saying that the organizers would have to pay for advertisements.

“In the past, we used to put up the streamers without paying anything to Punjab government since it’s an effort to promote reading culture in the country and we are a completely not-for-profit organization. This time we were told we’d have to pay Rs5 million for the advertisements. We couldn’t. So we didn’t put up any banners or streamers this year,” Saad told Naya Daur.

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The past governments have been providing relief to the organizers for a non-commercial activity that aims to promote reading culture.

The LIBF is one of the two mega book fairs organized in Pakistan, where people can find the best books from Pakistani and International authors at discounted prices. The price discounts can go as much as 80% for some of the books.

The event will continue till February 5th.

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