10/21/2006, 00.00
PAKISTAN
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Urdu Catholic weekly due out in Karachi christened Agahi

by Qaiser Felix

It means "knowledge": the title was chosen after weeks of proposals and discussion. The first issue of the weekly will be out within two weeks.

Karachi (AsiaNews) – After weeks of proposals and consultations, the name "Agahi" (knowledge) has been chosen for the new weekly to be published by the Catholic Archdiocese of Karachi: it will be the first such paper to be published in Urdu – the national language – not only in the diocese but in the whole country.

Its creator, Fr Arthur Charles, said he was "fully convinced" about the title of the new medium of communication, which aims to impart "knowledge, information and insight". The first issue should be ready within two weeks: the newspaper will feature eight pages with another two or four for adverts.

Fr Charles received the go-ahead for the publication from the leaders of the archdiocese, including the bishop, Mgr Evarist Pinto, in early September. The bishop said: "In our age more than in any other, we can not neglect the influence of the media and mass communication and their potential for proclaiming the Word of God. I keep on stressing that we need to engage more actively in our Catholic media... I am in no doubt Fr Charles' work will prove very fruitful."

At the moment, the archdiocese of Karachi has an English weekly, The Christian Voice. Fr Charles told AsiaNews: "The Urdu weekly will be in the style and format of The Christian Voice. The contents will comprise official news both from the Archdiocese and the Holy See, news and views of interest from other dioceses, reports from around the world, features focusing on biblical, theological, liturgical, moral and social issues." The name of the publication was chosen from a "long list of suggestions from the community".

In the last eight months Fr Charles set up an editorial team composed of friends and esteemed journalists. "My friends do not only share my vision with me but they also give their expert opinion," he said.

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