'Promoting Peace Should be The Aim of Literature We Love'

'Promoting Peace Should be The Aim of Literature We Love'
Promoting peace among peoples and countries should be the aim of literature that "we love," Fatima Bhutto, noted writer and niece of former Pakistan Prime Minister Benazir Bhutto said today.

Delivering the K C John memorial lecture as part of the fourth Kovalam literary festival here, Bhutto said India and Pakistan had a shared history that had been unparalleled.

"We have a beautiful shared history that has been unparalleled. Right from Indus valley civilisation when we had common trade upto Persia and Egypt and despite being separated at birth, we shared this history while hostility is there in modern days," she said.

She said the legendary history of Buddha and Mauryas belonged to the south Asian region as a whole. "I am a Pakistani and it now somehow has come to mean that I should always talk on war or terror. I am never asked to talk about peace wherever I go," Bhutto said.

She said struggles for freedom waged with support from outside forces would only replace one power with another, like in Libya.

"The peoples of India and Pakistan got alien because we could not talk to each other. Suspicion between each other which is way ahead of common sense is the reason for the two countries not signing the nuclear non-proliferation treaty," she said.

Fatima, who has to her credit three books including collection of poems "Whispers of Desert" and "Songs of Blood and Sword", said co-operation with neighbouring nations was far more useful than with countries thousands of miles away.

The Indo-Pak trade was worth only Rs 2 billion which was far less than India's trade with US and China. "India-Pak trade can be 20 times larger than it is now," she said.

"Violence has never been the answer to any problem. Ultimately it looks like we are all the same. And promoting peace should be the aim of literature we love as our future depends on it," she said.
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