Pakistani publishers yet to get visa

With only a couple of days left for the 40th International Book Fair, publishers from Pakistan are yet to get visas to participate in the week-long event here, even as organisers said they have provided all necessary clearance.

According to organisers, a team of around 15 people from six publishing houses in Pakistan had been finalised to participate in the fair and had booked six of the total 201 stalls at the fair. "We are now looking at the Indian High Commission in Pakistan for issue of visas," an official said.

The development comes in the wake of recent chill between the two neighbours following tension along the Line of Control.

However, another NBT official sought to play down the issue saying that the visa clearance to Pakistan publishers participating in the Fair, may be issued late.

The 40th New Delhi World Book Fair is set to begin on February 4. The National Book Trust of India, in association with India Trade Promotion Organisation, is organising the 21st edition of the fair at Pragati Maidan.

The book fair will be inaugurated by Minister of State for Human Resource Development Shashi Tharoor. The inauguration will take place in Hall 7 of Pragati Maidan.

At least 1,100 Indian and foreign publishers from Pakistan, Iran, Nepal, Turkey, Saudi Arabia, the US, the UK, Sri Lanka, and Singapore and are expected at the fair this year in an area spread over approximately 46,000 sqm of indoor space.

The theme of the fair this year is "Indigenous Voices Mapping India's Folk and Tribal Literature" and is offering new initiatives to promote reading and to offer a business platform to authors and publishers. Member of Parliament (Rajya Sabha) & President, Indian Council for Cultural Relations Dr Karan Singh, will be the guest of honour at the function.

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