Pity children don't read books: Pakistani daily

Islamabad, Feb 3 (IANS) Praising the Jaipur Literary Festival that got 200,000 visitors, a Pakistani daily said it was unfortunate that Pakistani children don't cherish books, be it in school or at home.

In Pakistan, "public libraries are relatively rare, under-stocked and under-funded, and new books are expensive to buy", the News International said in an editorial.

"It is also unfortunate that our children do not learn to cherish books, be it in school or at home."

The daily said the just ended Jaipur gathering attracted 200,000 visitors besides leading writers.

It lamented the fact that two such upcoming festivals in Pakistan - in Lahore and Karachi - were not going to attract people.

"Neither is going to attract the numbers that were seen at Jaipur, but both are of considerable significance."

Only 18 million Pakistanis have "reasonable" fluency in English, and quality literature in Urdu "has been in a long slow decline", it said.

Book shops in Pakistan now only sell textbooks, and public libraries are of poor quality, it said.

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