The three-day SAARC Writers and Intellectuals Conference held in New Delhi on October 13, 14 and 15, 2005 comprised four thematic sessions, two discussion sessions, two sessions on readings of creative writings, besides the Inaugural and Valedictory sessions.

The overall theme of the Conference was : Cultural Connectivity for Peace in South Asia.

The sub-themes of the Conference were :

* Global Relevance of Culture : Development for Peace

*  Understanding the Interrelationships of Cultures in South Asia

* Respecting the Otherness of Others

* Inter-Cultural Dialogue for Strengthening Civilisational Links in South Asia.

The eminent delegates who participated in the Conference included :

Mr. Intizar Hussain, Mr. Mohammad Mansha Yad, Ms. Kishwar Naheed, Ms. Zaheda Hina, Ms. Attiya Dawood, Mr. Minoo Bhandara, Dr. Syed Akhtar Hussain Akhtar, Mr. Muhammad Sadiq Pervez, Dr. Shaista Nuzhat, Dr. Shirin Masood, Dr. Ismat Ullah Zahid, Dr. Dilshad Tiwana, Prof. Wasim Raza Gardezi, Mr. Akhtar Hussain Sandhu, Mr. Saeen Akhtar Hussain, Mr. Saeen Zahoor, Dr. Anwar Ahmad, Dr. Rubina Tareen, Dr. Azra Asghar, Dr. Aqeela Bashir, Dr. Humaira Arif Dasti, Prof. Khalid Saeed, Mr. Nazeer Qaiser, Begum Shaista Jaan, Dr. Khalid Javed Jan, Dr. Ghazala Irfan, Mr. Nisar Ahmed Chaudhary, Ms. Sheema Kermani, Dr. Asif Farrukhi, Mr. Mubashir Hasan, and Prof. Asghar Nadeem Syed (from Pakistan);

Mr. Nirmalendu Goon, Ms. Tasmima Hossain, Prof. Shafi Ahmed, Dr. Ebadur Rehman, Ms. Rehman, Mr. Subhashish Sinha, Mr. Sarkar Amin, Ms. Jahanara Parveen, Dr. Audity Falguni (from Bangladesh); Prof. Tissa Jayatilaka, Mr. Tissa Abeysekara (from Sri Lanka); Mr. Ali Shareef (from Maldives);

Ms. Sheeba Shah, Dr. Ram Dayal Rakesh, Dr. Benju Sharma, Mr. Tejeshwar Babu Gongah, Dr. Geeta Keshary (from Nepal); H.E. Mr. Masood Khalili (from Afghanistan); Dr. Pem Namgyal (from Bhutan); and

Dr. Jaipal Reddy, Minister of Culture of India, Mr. Shyam Saran, Foreign Secretary of India, Mr. V.P. Singh, former Prime Minister of India, H. E. Mr. Samdhong Rinpoche, Prime Minister of Tibetan Government in Exile, Mr. A.B. Bardhan, Dr. Abid Hussain, Mr. Lalit Mansingh, Dr. Kapila Vatsyayan, Dr. Namwar Singh, Prof. U.R. Ananthamurthy, Mr. Kamleshwar, Prof. Indira Goswami, Prof. Mushirul Hasan, Ms. Neena Ranjan, Secretary, Culture, Dr. Nirmala Deshpande, Prof. Amrik Singh, Mr. Balmiki Prasad Singh, Mr. Manohar Shyam Joshi, Mr. Vasant Sathe, Dr. Ashok Vajpeyi, Prof. Satchidanand Sahai, Ms. Krishna Sobti, Mr. Keki Daruwala, Ms. Ajeet Cour and several others (from India).

Inaugural Session

The Conference was inaugurated by Dr. Jaipal Reddy, Minister of Culture, Government of India, and was presided over by Mr. V.P. Singh, former Prime Minister of India. Mr. A.B. Bardhan, General Secretary, Communist Party of India, was the Chief Guest, and H.E. Mr. Samdhong Rinpoche, Prime Minister of Tibetan Government in Exile and Mr. Shyam Saran, the Foreign Secretary of India, were the Guests of Honour. On behalf of the delegations from neighbouring South Asian countries, His Excellency, Mr. Masood Khalili, the Ambassador of Afghanistan,

Mr. Shyam Saran, Foreign Secretary of India, lighting the inaugural lamp;