ICCR one of the sponsors of Karachi Lit Fest

The Karachi Literature Festival (KLF) was launched in March 2010. Photograph:( AFP )

WION New Delhi, Delhi, India Feb 13, 2017, 07.00 AM (IST)

The Indian government’s flagship cultural body, the Indian Council for Cultural Relations (ICCR), is one of the sponsors of the ongoing Karachi Literature Festival (KLF) in Pakistan, the Times of India reported Monday.

This is the first time the ICCR is sponsoring the event, the TOI reported.

Government officials told TOI that India was not giving up on people-to-people contact even if the political differences with Islamabad were insurmountable.

"We are working to increase India's cultural footprint across the world under the leadership of PM Narendra Modi, including in Pakistan," ICCR director general Amarendra Khatua told TOI.

ICCR’s involvement with the event in Karachi comes at a time when Pakistani artists continue to be banned from Bollywood. The ban was first called for by the Shiv Sena, with other nationalist India political parties jumping onto the bandwagon, after a September 18, 2016 militant attack on an army camp in Uri which left 19 Indian soldiers dead. 

The Karachi Literature Festival (KLF) was launched in March 2010. It has grown by leaps and bounds since then, and now counts the foreign missions of several countries in Pakistan as sponsors.