FIRST SAARC WRITERS CONFERENCE, INDIA, APRIL 2000

The first-ever SAARC Writers Conference organised and hosted by FOSWAL, held in New Delhi from April 28-30, 2000, was like a miracle! The most brilliant creative minds of the SAARC region and Afghanistan came together for a common quest for peace and cultural connectivity. One single dream binding their imagination and hearts together! Beyond borders ! Beyond governments ! Independent, creative, fearless minds !

Poets from Afghanistan were invited as guest participants.

The Conference was adopted by UNESCO as the “Flagship Event of the International Year for the Culture of Peace.”

This first Conference focused on the theme:

‘Writers, Peace and Culture of South Asia’.

Thirty-nine distinguished writers and poets from Bangladesh, Bhutan, India, Maldives, Nepal, Pakistan and Sri Lanka : and also from Afghanistan and different states of India, representing different languages of their countries, and writers representing about twenty languages from all over India, attended the Conference and exchanged their writings, their views, their concerns, and celebrated their coming together for the first time ever!

From Delhi more than 120 writers, intellectuals, poets, critics, playwrights, translators, mediamen, academics, political philosophers, peace and human rights activists, visual and performing artists, publishers and the literary cognoscenti participated

The Conference was inaugurated by two eminent poets from Pakistan and India: Ahmad Faraz and Gulzar. Our former Primer Minister Mr. V.P. Singh, a prominent poet and painter, closely associated with the dream of FOSWAL,lighted the inaugural lamp and spoke very emotionally and lyrically about this unique initiative. Former Prime Minister of India and the architect of ‘Gujral Doctrine’ for the SAARC region,Mr. I. K. Gujral,welcomed the participants.