Islamabad: I am pleased to announce the celebration of April 22 each year as the National Book Day. The purpose of dedicating a day in this respect is aimed at highlighting the importance of book reading and encouraging the citizens of Pakistan to spare some time for turning to books.
Books are not only repository of knowledge but also a gateway to the world of enlightenment. They also document history, arts and culture, scientific and technological achievements and bequeath them to future generations. They also play critical role in intellectual, psychological and moral development of human beings.
The nations whose individuals keep themselves associated with book reading not only stay abreast of the developments taking place around the world but also contribute meaningfully to the process of socio-economic development. Hence, a culture of book reading is closely linked to moral, social and intellectual uplift of a nation.
Our great religion, Islam, puts a lot of premium on meditation and ordains its followers to acquire knowledge. Allah Almighty started the revelation with word ‘Iqra’ i.e. read and the Holy Prophet (PBUH) urged the believers to keep learning ‘from cradle to grave’ and that they must get knowledge even if they have to go to China.
The 21st century is a century of knowledge and inquiry as knowledge has been recognized as a factor of production and an engine of socio-economic development. Only those nations can compete in today’s hi-tech world and carve out an honourable niche in the comity of nations if they dedicate themselves to making knowledge be-all and end-all of their existence.
With a view to promoting culture of book-reading among the public, I have directed the opening of National Book Museum. I have also inaugurated two mobile book clubs cum shops by the name of Books-on-Wheels in 2011.
My Government has also established Travellers Books Clubs at domestic Lounge of Jinnah International Airport, Karachi and Allama Iqbal International Airport, Lahore. Besides, we have successfully established a series of Village Book Clubs dedicated to Mohtarma Benazir Bhutto in remote and far-flung areas of the country.
I would direct the National Book Foundation to hold seminars and book reading festivals to promote importance of book reading in the country. The universities, educational institutions, parents and media have a high responsibility on their shoulders in this regard. They must inculcate among their students and youth an ingrained habit of reading books. The government of Pakistan is committed to extend every kind of support to such endeavours.
For more information, contact:
Haji Ahmed Malik
Principal Information Officer
Press Information Department (PID)
Tel: +9251 925 2323 and +9251 925 2324
Fax: +9251 925 2325 and +9251 925 2326