Pakistan is a country where translation is not a profession. Informed by the country’s Islamic ideology and the national poet Allama Muhammad Iqbal’s works, Pakistan’s mainstream literature memorialises the golden days of Arab history when libraries were considered powerhouses of wisdom. For the country’s institutions and individuals working in this framework, Baghdad’s Daar-ul-Hikmah [House of Wisdom] — where all the best books in Greek and many in Persian and Chinese were translated into Arabic — should have been a source of inspiration to realise the needs and dreams of translation. But today’s Pakistan is a country that has almost completely banished its translators from its academic and non-academic spaces, as here, translation earns one neither money nor any recognition.

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