As the festival ends, book lovers browse for last minute literary goodies. – Photo by Eefa Khalid
As the 4th Annual Literature Festival winds up, it concludes a stunning and fascinating weekend that breathed new life and colour into Karachi and its people.
Much like the days before, today was ripe with informative, insightful and spirited discussions about issues close to the heart of Pakistanis all over.
Izzeldin Abuelaish spoke movingly about the need for hope in the face of rising oppression and how the Israel-Palestine conflict is not merely a middle eastern issue, but an issue for the world at large, leaving many audience members in tears.
Zia Mohyeddin was nostalgic about simpler times, and the reason he doesn’t take part in Pakistani films anymore, New York Times correspondent Declan Walsh and German journalist Yassin Musharbash talked about the complexities of covering Pakistan as outsiders.
Thanks for joining us through our coverage of the weekend, we hope to see you next year!
Keynote Speech by George Galloway
George Galloway’s Keynote Speech at the Karachi Literature Festival. – Photo by Eefa Khalid
Chumpy Galloway fans love him because he's a 'gora' who rips on 'goras' #boring I can do that myself, thank you very much #KLF— Hawkes Bay (@HawkesBay) February 17, 2013
Literary Bytes: “Politics and Literature”
Ameena Saiyid, the Managing Director of OUP-Pakistan, speaks to Dawn.com on why the Literature Festival may seem more political this year, but really isn’t.
KlF 13 ends with a full house
Amjad Islam Amjad and Ahmed Shah (L-R) at the session ‘Conversation with Amjad Islam Amjad’. – Photo by Eefa Khalid
Zia Mohyeddin at ‘A Carrot is a Carrot: Selected Readings” – Photo by Eefa Khalid/Dawn.com
People enjoy Anwar Massod’s reading at one of the last sessions of the festival. – Photo by Eefa Khalid/Dawn.com
It was a house full for the Zia Mohyeddin reading called ‘A Carrot is a Carrot’. – Photo by Eefa Khalid/Dawn.com
Javed Jabbar greets a fan. – Photo by Eefa Khalid/Dawn.com
The Great Sufi Poets of the Punjab
Sarwat Mohiuddin discusses Sufiism. – Photo by Alisia Pek/ Dawn.com
“It has become fashionable to be called a Sufi. We see many pop music bands refering to themselves as sufi, whereas they don’t even know the meaning of the word.” - Sarwat Mohiuddin
5:15The Prospects of US-Pakistan Relations
Maleeha Lodhi, former Ambassador to the United States at a session on US-Pak relations. -Photo by Alisia Pek/Dawn.com
A debate started in the session when Cameron Munter said Pakistan is a country that does not respect itself, responding to this, former Pakistan ambassador to the US Maleeha Lodhi said, “You only speak for a few, we are a resilient society and respect ourselves, we have been failed by our own state, Pakistan is not a poor coountry, more of a poorly managed country.”The panelists then spoke about the withdrawal of American troops from Afghanistan to which Munetr said he was optimistic about the pullout because it would give the US a chance to re-create its relationship with Pakistan. Lodhi retorted to this by saying much would depend on how 2014 plays out, adding that the safe and secure withdrawal of US troops from Afghanistan is important. “Pakistan’s role will be critical to reduce American pain while they are withdrawing from Afghanistan,” she added.
The discussion moved onto 9/11 and the subsequent invasion of Afghanistan. Lodhi said Pakistani’s tend to forget their own history, because after all it was Pakistan which warned the US not to go on a long war and punish an entire country on the actions of a few, yet it did.
Speaking on the United States foreign policy towards Pakistan, Lodhi said most Pakistanis would like to see a well thought out policy for Pakistan in 2014, the US did not have such a policy for ten years, it will be good to see what (such a policy) would look like.
When asked about drone attacks, Munter said we haven’t been able to cooperate on the issue, but it is not the technology that is bad, it is how governments work together to use that technology which matters. – Text by Saher Baloch
“For us Pakistani’s we have to generate our own resources, stop complaining, please don’t wish to see this relationship (with US) on money.” – Maleeha Lodhi
“Every country has to deal with terrorism in it’s own way, Pakistan and America are suffering from the same enemy, but unfortunately we havent been able to cooperate on how to confront this enemy.”- Cameron Munter
In one of the last panels of the festival, New York Times correspondent on Pakistan, Declan Walsh, German Journalists, Hasnain Kazim, and Yassin Musharbash, discussed the role of foreign media in covering Pakistan.
Kazim and Musharbarsh both spoke about the difficulties of covering Pakistan as outsiders, because of the complexity and diversity of the country. Kazim was candid about the Pakistani “obsession” with what foreigners think about their country, and commented on how desensitized Pakistanis in general have become to the state of the country.”I think people don’t realize that we get checked by police every few hundred meters, as if it’s an airport. And that’s not normal,” he said.
The audience grilled the panelists, over the alleged myopia of the foreign media coverage concerning Pakistan, but the panelists tended to disagree. Musharbarsh said that as journalists their job is report the story, and that the reality of Pakistan is that the story is the violence and there is no way around that. – Text by Salman Haqqi
“Pakistan is one big riddle to me and many journalists who report from here. It is hard to sell Pakistan in Germany, this is a country where people gather and speak about Quetta and two hours later a bomb blast kills more than 80 people there. This doesn’t happen in other countries.” - Yassin Musharbash
4:05 Photospace featuring Tapu Javeri and Arif Mahmood at KLF
Another self-portrait by Arif Mahmood. -Photo by Shameen Khan/Dawn.com
Self portrait by Arif Mahmood. -Photo by Shameen Khan/Dawn.com
Bundoo Khan by Arif Mahmood. -Photo by Shameen Khan/Dawn.com
Abdul Sattar Edhi by Tapu Javeri. -Photo by Shameen Khan/Dawn.com
4:10 Farooq Sattar makes an appearance at KLF
Farooq Sattar. -Photo by Saher Baloch/Dawn.com
Deputy Convener of the MQM, Farooq Sattar, made an appearance at the Karachi Literature Festival on the third day of the event, just a day after his party quit the provincial and federal governments. Surrounded by media, Sattar said it was the final decision of the party to not go back to the government. He said the Kabhari Market killings and the subsequent withdrawal of the cases was one of the factors of dropping out of the coalition and government. He added that the MQM would stil keep cordial relations with their political partners.
Regarding the Literature Festival, Sattar said that he hoped Karachi would be known more for its culture rather than violence. – Text by Sahar Baloch
“It goes to show there are still educated people in Karachi.” - Farooq Sattar
3:45 Glittering prizes
Muneeza Shamsie and Razeshta Sethna discussing award winning fiction 2010-2013. -Photo by Sara Faruqi/Dawn.com
3:40Feminization of Poverty
A panelist from the discussion on the Feminisation of Poverty. – Photo by Alisia Pek/Dawn.com
The session began with Taimur Rahman introducing us to what the situation was globally in regards to woman and economics; “women are disproportionately amongst the poor, a phenomenon which is deepening”. However he ended his introduction on a positive note, saying that “in Pakistan women are at a huge disadvantage but that there was evidence of this disadvantage narrowing.”
Fahmida Riaz’s observations included that ‘women don’t exist separately to their families’ that it is usually the family as a whole which is poor and not just the woman in the family. However she spoke mostly about the economics of how poverty became a norm amongst farmers and then immigrated from the rural regions into the urban areas. She noted that “if you want to, you can find injustice against women reigning for several milenia- but when you talk about the feminisation of poverty you have to start looking at economics.”
Sadiqa Salahuddin stated quite simply that “poverty is the denial of human rights” and reiterated several notions in our society in context of how we see a woman who knows and demands her rights. ‘ In our culture if a woman asks for her share of the property we label her as a dayin (witch) that will consume her brothers share. Salahuddin ended the session by declaring that ‘if there is no education then even dreaming of empowerment is misplaced.” – Text by Mehar Khursheed.
3:30 Volunteers at KLF
Volunteers from Westminister Tayab, Zahid. -Photo by Shameen Khan/Dawn.com
Volunteers from IVS Farwa, Sakina, Nirmal, Ferozah, Narmeen, Mohammad, Dania. -Photo by Shameen Khan/Dawn.com
A view of the at the Tapu Javeri and Arif Mahmood photography exhibit. -Photo by Shameen Khan/Dawn.com
Girls from The Educators at the Tapu Javeri and Arif Mahmood photography exhibit. -Photo by Shameen Khan/Dawn.com
People flock around a book stall. -Photo by Shameen Khan/Dawn.com
Aalia and fellow volunteer at a stall. -Photo by Shameen Khan/Dawn.com
3:15 Literary Bytes: Izzeldin Abuelaish on hopeIzzeldin Abuelaish is a Palestinian author and doctor who wrote the book ‘I shall Not Hate: A Gaza Doctor’s Journey on the Road to Peace and Human Dignity’. He wrote the book after three of his daughters were killed in the Gaza War. Log on next week for an article on Abuelaish’s book. Here, he speaks about what the book is about and how he learned to take a non-violent path against oppression.
Mangroves. Creek. Cool breeze. Filtered sunlight. The Main tent at #KLF is the closest thing to heaven— Ayesha Tammy Haq (@tammyhaq) February 17, 2013
Nadeem Aslam, Kishwar Desai, Mohammed Hanif and Sarwat Mohiuddin. -Photo by Sara Faruqi/Dawn.com
“This image of a strong Punjabi woman is a facade. Her choices are limited like any other woman’s.” - Kishwar Desai
“In India, Punjab is a small entity unlike here. For the Baloch, the word Punjabi equals to monstrosity.” - Mohammed Hanif
“Punjabis are not of their lineage anymore. Most don’t know the rich history Punjab has.” - Sarwat Mohiuddin
And it’s lunch time already! Can’t believe the morning went by so fast. It’s been another riveting day here at KLF and there’s more to come. Bon Appetite!
Irshad Abdul Kadir signs copies of his book ‘Clifton Bridge’ on the third day of the Karachi Literature Festival. -Photo by Alisia Pek/Dawn.com
12:45 In conversation with Izzeldin Abuelaish
Izzeldin Abuelaish (R) with Raza Rumi. -Photo by Sara Faruqi/Dawn.com
“16th of January, 2009 was the day an Israeli tank killed my three daughters and a niece. I decided that day I won’t hate. With hate you kill yourself, it is a toxin. I decided to move on.”- Izzeldin Abuelaish
“I lived the war. I was not born with the suffering it was forced upon me. The suffering is man made.” - Izzeldin Abuelaish
“You save one life, you save the world. You kill one life, you kill the world.” - Izzeldin Abuelaish
12:30 On Kashmir
Victoria Schofield, Babar Ayaz and Najmuddin Shaikh. -Photo by Alisia Pek/Dawn.com
“There’s not going to be any movement on the Kashmir issue until elections in both India and Pakistan are resolved.” - Victoria Schofield
Syed Kashif Raza, Masud Alam, Mohammed Hanif and Shazaf Fatima. – Photo by Alisia Pek/Dawn.com
The morning began with all but one of our panelists rushing in as Shazaf Fatima Haider was already there.Mohammad Hanif introduced the session of Emerging Writers by assuring the audience that the panelists were chosen at random. Then Shazaf Haider read out an excerpt from her debut novel “How It Happened”. She delighted the audiences, which was all too familiar with the concept of a fussy grandmother and touched upon a deeper issue of the extent of in-exposure and naivety that is preferred in a girl. She said of her work that “it’s not a political book, just that it has a lot of family politics.”
Syed Kashif Raza, a poet and journalist orchestrated the tone of the audience by touching on deep rooted social and political nerves and then upon request read some romantic poems and were sensual enough to be remarked upon by Hanif. Speaking about his travelogue Masud Alam said that, “whenever I can get the opportunity I wish to travel” and that, “I write for myself and that’s it. I find closure in that.” – Text By Mehar Khursheed.
'Karachi contains 30 percent of the population of Sindh. Lahore contains 7 percent of the population of Punjab' – Arif Hasan #KLF— Kamila Shamsie (@kamilashamsie) February 17, 2013
Victoria Schofield, Najmuddin Shaikh, Barkha Dutt and Najam Sethi talk about the issue of dynastic politics in Pakistan. – Photo by Alisia Pek/Dawn.com
One of the well attended sessions in morning, Barkha Dutt, Victoria Schofield, Najam Sethi and Najmuddin Sheikh spoke one by one about the politics of dynasties in South Asia and beyond.
Starting off, it was debated whether political dynasties are a particularly South Asian phenomena. British author and biographer, Victoria Schofield, said that there is an element of it in US politics but it is not as obvious. Most having political lineage have faded out “And as long as you have a fading out process others will get to participate in the political process.” But that’s not to say that it is an example in this case is Egypt; Hosni Mubarak was clearly thrown out during the time he was preparing his son to enter politics, she explained.
Speaking about the Bhutto family and the dynasty they left behind, Schofield said that: “Had Zulfikar Ali Bhutto not been removed from politics, there was no doubt that Benazir Bhutto would have preferred
the foreign service.”
Explaining further, she said that Benazir stepped into power at a very young age of 24 but she had the staying power.
In the same vein she candidly said that it is easy to criticize political dynasties but if people really want to get rid of dynasties, they should stop assassinating leaders.
Indian journalist, Dutt was of the opinion that: “Women generally enter politics through their families because otherwise it is difficult for them.”
Dynastic politics is not anti-democratic, concluded Najmuddin Sheikh, a former Pakistani diplomat.
- Text by Saher Baloch
“Nothing new and peculiar about political dynasty and nothing to do with South Asia in particular. USA has had dynasties in the past as well. For e.g. Roosevelt’s and Kennedy’s … ” - Victoria Schofield
Welcome to the third and final day of the Karachi Literature Festival! It’s a gorgeous Sunday morning, fit for another fine day of literature.
People are trickling in and lining up for breakfast. And if there’s any generous souls out there, the Dawn.com team could use a cup of coffee and a muffin perhaps. Just kidding! Just follow us for the final day’s events and be sure to tweet and follow what looks to be another promising day at the 4th Karachi Literature Festival.
That’s a wrap for Day Two at KLF! If you are just joining us, scroll down below for highlights from the day and yesterday’s highlights can be seen on the ‘Day One’ tab above.
Full sessions. People overflowing, perhaps because of star power or perhaps because #KLF has finally come of age. Proud of Pakistan today.— Afia Aslam (@AfiaAslam) February 16, 2013
Galloway speaks, smokes cigar and asks for more Twitter followers
George Galloway with Irfan Hussain, – Photo by Dawn.com
"Trust me, I haven't got tuppence ha'penny in my pocket". George Galloway at #KLF, smoking a cigar— Declan Walsh (@declanwalsh) February 16, 2013
“Government accountable to people is the real definition of democracy.” - George Galloway
“It’s been 25 years since I was was in Karachi last. I was campaigning for Benazir Bhutto in Lyari. I got to spend some time with the then tallest man in the world, Mr. Channa, who used to lift me up like a mascot.” - George Galloway
“I have hundreds of thousands of followers on Twitter and Facebook. Please follow me”. - George Galloway
Literary Bytes: “Festivals make me realize I exist”
Author Nadeem Aslam speaks on the importance of Literary festivals in validating a writer’s work. Log on to Dawn.com next week for a longer interview with Aslam at the Lahore Literary Festival.
6:45 pm Songs and stories
Khaled Anam sings with children at KLF. -Photo by Shameen Khan/Dawn.com
“In the past, television plays were answerable to the society, now they mainly care about the producers and the producers are answerable to the advertisers.” - Amjad Islam Amjad
As today’s sessions wrap up, people are busy buying books and food from the stalls. – Photo by Shameen Khan/Dawn.com
The day is coming to a close here at KLF, stay tuned for our coverage of “In Conversation with George Galloway” which is about to start. In the meantime, scroll down for interviews, photographs and write-ups from the events of KLF13 Day Two. Watch interviews with Asma Jahangir, Victoria Schofield and Lemn Sessay, or listen to a reading of Qurratulain Hyder’s short story. Be sure to check out happenings from Day One of the festival by clicking on the ‘Day One’ above.
Literary Bytes:”Many voices together are powerful”
Asma Jahangir talks about the power of people when supporting a cause. Log on next week for an in-depth interview with the human rights lawyer on the judiciary, activism and where Pakistan is headed.
Panelists from The Other – M. Wyatt, Nadeem Aslam, Kamila Shamsie and H.M Naqvi (L-R) – Photo by Alisia Pek/Dawn.com
This session’s panelists all had biculturalism in common, having lived in Pakistan and abroad for some period of time. They had a grasp on how they viewed the world outside Pakistan and how the outside world saw us.
They spoke about Edward Said and orientalism and how the concept of the Other was born. Kamila Shamsie explains how she was initiated into that concept [subconsciously], “I wasn’t reading books about Karachi – my idea of novels was about things that were happening somewhere else”
Nadeem Aslam spoke about his first experience at being the Other saying that ‘I was traumatized by the concept of racism, they could just look at my name and decide that they want nothing to do with me’
Kamila Shamsie pointed out a feminist issue that “in some ways I am always the Other as a woman, I am always in a patriarchal society of different levels.” – Text by Mehar Khursheed
Literary Bytes: “Creating a positive narrative”
Author and biographer Victoria Schofield speaks about why the Karachi Literature Festival is important.
4:45 pm The politics of child labour
The panelists from the session called On the politics of Child Labour. – Photo by Alisia Pek Xue Ning/Dawn.com
“How many of you have seen a child, sitting with a well-to-do family in a restaurant, taking care of the kids?” Asked activist and filmmaker, Samar Minallah in the beginning of the session, Politics of Child Labor.
A three minute clip of a documentary,’Kuch Khwab Hain Meray’ shot by Minallah was shown afterwards showing 8 to 12 year olds speaking about their life as servants.
One of them, a 10-year-old spoke about how he feels scared of sleeping in the terrace at night and yet cannot disagree with his employees. Some of them blinked away the tears, while speaking about their day to day chores.
“These kids are exploited and can’t speak up for themselves. It is for us to do that for them,” Minallah said.
Singer and activist, Taimur Rehman said that poverty is at the root of child labour. “As long as there are poor people, no matter how many petitions Pakistan signs, child labour won’t stop.”
Sharing estimates by International Labor Organisation (ILO), Rehman said that, around 114 million children in Asia are working as child labourers.
Sharing a research based on urban trends, Bela Jamil, said that she found more boys out of school than girls. “We have a bulk of policies and laws, but implementation still remains a problem. Child labour is a complex and multi sectoral issue. It needs to be assessed as such.” – text Saher Baloch
Taimur Rehman "Poverty is the main reason why child labor is on the rise, children are pushed in to workforce because of poverty" #KLF— Bolo Bhi (@BoloBhi) February 16, 2013
Panelists all agree that there will be civil war in Afghanistan when Americans leave with severe blowback into Pak #klf— Adrienne L Parkins (@theasianword) February 16, 2013
At Manto's play – Tehreek e Niswan . Quite engaging. Especially the link between Ismat Chughtai and Manto. #KLF— Kiran B Ahmad (@kiranba) February 16, 2013
3:45 pm Reading of Qurratulain Hyder’s Nazara Darmiyaan Hai from day one
3:30 pm In conversation with Cameron Munter
-Photo by Saher Baloch/Dawn.com
In the session ‘Narratives in Politically Received Wisdom’, former US ambassador to Pakistan, Cameron Munter, candidly spoke about Pakistan, the United States and the mercurial relationship shared by both countries.
Starting off, he said that there is an ‘American betrayal’ narrative that is used a lot in Pakistan. It focuses on how US used Pakistan and threw it away. “I have been asked this question on many occasions mostly by students, that where were you when we had confrontations with India etc.”
Similarly, he spoke about the US having a particular narrative about Pakistan as well. “It goes like ‘we gave them all the money and funds, supported them in the 50s and later on and yet these terrible Pakistanis deceived us’.”
In the same vein he said that it would be better if rather than focusing on the differences we focus on what’s common between us. “Both in Pakistan and US fool themselves into believing that we understand the other country.”
From there on, the conversation moved towards counter terrorism and its impacts on Pakistan. Speaking on that, Munter said that: “I say it as a friend of Pakistan. There’s a need for vision and courage among Pakistanis themselves, which I see lacking. The victim hood of being deceived and used by the US must be fought by all means.”
He argued that through the narratives both countries want to re-litigate the past. Whenever counter terrorism is mentioned, Pakistan media tries to point scores, whereas the US media can’t look beyond the image of Pakistan where bullets fly around. “In such a scenario, stepping away from the stereotypes and looking for ways common to both countries is the way to move forward.”
Moderator Ashraf Jehangir Qazi, Pak ambassador to US, who had been silently listening to the speech added a point to the conversation as well. Speaking about narratives, Qazi said that: “Narratives are structured stories that help the institutions. We need to be conscious of who’s saying what to analyze where it’s actually coming from.” – Text by Saher Baloch
Social satire: Laughing at ourselves
“Satire doesn’t exist to suggest solutions, but to point out problems that people aren’t paying attention to.” - Nadeem F. Paracha
Social Satire by Ali Gul Pir, Beo Zafar and Bushra Ansari was one of the best session, I attended. #KLF— UsamaMuhammadHaider (@UsamaMHaider) February 16, 2013
2:30 pm Readings and conversations with Kishwar Naheed and Iftikhar Arif
Iftikhar Arif. -Photo by Alisia Pek/Dawn.com
“Any person who writes something, must pay the price for it.” - Iftikhar Arif
Well mannered queue for "coffee" and bay hangam hujoom for "chaai". What a cultural difference. #KLF— Faizan Lakhani (@faizanlakhani) February 16, 2013
2:45 pm Children at KLF
Photo by Shameen Khan/Dawn.com
Photo by Shameen Khan/Dawn.com
Photo by Shameen Khan/Dawn.com
Photo by Shameen Khan/Dawn.com
Photo by Shameen Khan/Dawn.com [/caption]
Photo by Shameen Khan/Dawn.com
Photo by Shameen Khan/Dawn.com
Photo by Shameen Khan/Dawn.com
Why can we not satirize religious leaders? Bushra Ansari pokes fingers in the right direction! #KLF— (@aamnaisani) February 16, 2013
Cameron Munter rather seeking some kind of forgiveness at #klf. Mix of guilt and bitterness on display. Fascinating— Rob Crilly (@robcrilly) February 16, 2013
Literary Bytes: Immigration RSVP by Lemn Sissay
British author and broadcaster Lemn Sissay recites one of his poems for Dawn.com. Stay tuned next week for a feature length interview with him.
- Video by Muhammad Umar
1:05 pm Rights and Wrongs: Human Rights in Pakistan
The panelists from Rights and Wrongs: Human Rights in Pakistan. Ali Dayan Hasan, Asma Jehangir, Justice Nasira Iqbal, IA Rehman and Hamid Khan (L-R). – Photo by Sara Faruqi/Dawn.com
Asma Jehangir spoke on a range of subjects, including the rights of minorities and the blasphemy law. “My position on blasphemy laws is clear. These laws shouldn’t have been made. These laws have become a tool in the hands of vicious people. Case in point Sherry Rehman’s case,” she said. -Photo by Sara Faruqi/Dawn.com
“If you are a highly religious person you can commit murder and get away with it. That is impunity.” - Asma Jehangir
I.A Rehman at the end of the session called Human Rights in Pakistan. – Photo by Sara Faruqi/Dawn.com
“Poor people are not the judiciary’s agenda. It took one year for the judiciary to hear the Balochistan issue.” – I.A Rehman
Ali Dayan Hasan speaks to people after the session on human rights. – Photo by Sara Farqui/Dawn.com
“The civilian and military authorities are complicit in drone attacks.” - Ali Dayan Hasan
12:35 pm Book launch: A Political History of Pakistan 1947-2002 by V.Y.Belokrenitsky
Humayun Gauhar and Jahangir Ashraf Kazi. -Photo by Alisia Pek/Dawn.com
Tehmina Durrani spoke with Dawn.com about the changing role of women in Pakistani society. Log on next week to watch the full interview! – Photo by Sara Faruqi/Dawn.com
‘All revolutions are brought from injustice’: Tehmina Durrani The session with Tehmina Durrani began with Amina Saiyid chastising the general populous about the lack of publicity received by the groundbreaking literature that is Durrani’s work. Calling it the ‘revolutionary attempt that we weren’t ready for’, Durrani continued to say that people did not recognize the other content that went with the controversial My Feudal Lord. That the person who wrote it, ‘got branded and put aside’ and all other concepts that the literature touched upon were ignored.
‘All revolutions are born from injustice. All’, she says referring to her autobiographical work as a revolution. She acknowledges the fact that having done what she did was taxing mostly on her parents. ‘They suffered more than I did, they paid the price for my book. When asked how she would compare the Pir sahab from the book Blasphemy and Abdul Sattar Eidhi she said ‘Eidhi sahab represents the true face of Islam where as Pir sahab represents what Islam has become’.
She ended the session by answering a question about empowerment and the right to live exactly as one desires (without harming those around you) by saying ‘the greatest expression of gratitude to God is to be happy’. -Text by Mehar Khursheed
11:45 am Urdu novel: Kal, Aaj aur Kal
The Urdu novel: Ka, Aaj aur Kal. -Photo by Alisia Pek
“If there is any power in my writings, it came from , the work of Baba Bhulley Shah, Shah Hussain, Ghalib and Faiz.” – Mustansar Hussain Tarar
11:30 amThe Baloch Who is Not Missing & Others Who Are
Mohammed Hanif Farzana Majeed, I. A. Rehman and Mohammad Ali Talpur discuss the missing people of Baluchistan. – Photo Alisia Pek/Dawn.com
“For those of you who have pets, even if your cat or dog is lost, there is no food cooked at home. Now think of Zakir Majeed – How can his family accept his absence as a normal thing?” – Mohammad Hanif
11:15 amKufa mein Curfew: Readings from Intizar Husain’s Fiction
Intizar Hussain speaks with Mehr Afshan Farooqui. – Photo Alisia Pek / Dawn.com
Meher Jaffri says Pak film industry's future bright, making good films not the issue, distributing and marketing them is the challenge #KLF— Adnan Siddiqi (@adnansiddiqi) February 16, 2013
11:00 amGood morning from Day Two of the Karachi Literature Festival! It’s a refreshingly bright and sunny day today, and events are already underway as visitors seem to be trickling in.
Looking forward to another fascinating and insightful day at KLF. Be sure to follow us throughout the day for our on going coverage.
Dawn.com invites its readers to be a part of its ongoing coverage for the Karachi Literature Festival 2013. Join us for the highlights, photographs and soundbites from the authors, speakers and visitors throughout the three day event. Follow @dawn_com for updates on Twitter and contribute to the coverage by tagging #KLF or #KLF2013.
11:00 am And we’re off! The inauguration just wrapped up as rain clouds hover over the city. A light breeze blowing would be an understatement, Karachiites might just be in for some winter rains as KLF13 starts.
“Nadeem wore a blindfold for weeks when he wrote The Blind Man’s Garden.” – Ameena Saiyid
Opening ceremony underway. Large group of students just entered which already makes this the best #KLF to date.— Kamila Shamsie (@kamilashamsie) February 15, 2013
11:15 am A few images from the inauguration with speeches by the organisers as well as a few words by Nadeem Aslam and Intizar Hussain.
Nadeem Aslam speaking at the inauguration as KLF kicks off. – Photo by Alisia Pek Xue Ning/Dawn.com
Sheema Kermani’s performance in the morning as the Festival started. Photo by Alisia Pek Xue Ning/Dawn.com
Intizar Hussain at the inauguration. Photo by Alisia Pek Xue Ning/Dawn.com
“In the subcontinent within Urdu storytelling there are three different genres. The first comes from Hindu mythology, secondly from the western front such as Russia and Europe and lastly from Arabic and non-Arabic eastern literature.” – Intizar Hussain
12:30 pm Cricket and cricket writings
Panleists Kamila Shamsie, Saad Shafqat and Osman Samiuddin. – Photo by Dawn.com
The session started off with the panelists discussing the ongoing Test match between Pakistan and South Africa. All of them agreed on one point – that the match could go either way because of Pakistan’s unpredictability.
Talking about how the sport had become such an obsession for Pakistanis, the panelists discussed its colonial roots and how the subcontinent had adapted cricket.
“Cricket was supposed to be a sport for English conditions but the sub continent innovated it for the street, including coming up with the reverse swing,” Kamila Shamsie said, adding that her first pice of journalistic writing was about that Javed Miandad six in Sharjah.
She emphasized how important the role of a cricket writer is for cricket fans, explaining that a dry, boring day of Test cricket could look fabulous by reading a well-written match report the next day.
“A good writer adds character and form to a cricket match, pointing out the intricacies of play which an ordinary fan watching the game might miss,” she said.
As the discssion moved on to the formats of the game, Osman Samiuddin said that the death of Test cricket is exaggerated. Saad Shafqat agreed and said that no other sport can boast of three thriving formats.
“Cricket is like music – just like there are different genres with different followers, cricket’s different formats have different fan bases,” he added.
No cricket discussion can be complete for a Pakistani audience without the mention of spot fixing – this one was no different.
Shafqat said that when it came to the question of having the shamed trio playing for Pakistan again, there were two answers: one of the heart and one of the head. “The heart wants to see Mohammad Asif and Mohammad Amir play again for Pakistan but maybe not Salman Butt,” he said. – Text by Tabinda Siddiqi
An entertaining #KLF cricket session ends with a sweet old man essentially saying "all of you are wrong b/c I'm older and know better".— (@karachikhatmal) February 15, 2013
“Cricket is one of the most democratic activities. Everyone has the right to vote but even more people play cricket.” – Osman Samiuddin.
1:30 pm Half of Two Paisas
Edhi waits before the book launch of “Half of Two Paisas”. -Photo by Alisia Pek Xue Ning/dawn.com
The rain has a lot of people leaving the festival. – Photo by Shameen Khan/Dawn.com
As the lunch break comes to a close, the sun made a hopeful appearance for a few minutes, only to be dashed as the rain returned with a vengeance, as the clouds thunder and lightening strikes. The rain today has stolen the show, as authors, speakers and visitors, scurried around for cover. But it doesn’t seemed to have ruined the mood here at KLF. The show always goes on.
“It is literature that makes a life like ours bearable.” – Asif Farukkhi
“We are very excited to be here…we are here just for our love for books.” Students from Trinity College express their delight at being able to attend the festival on a school day. (From L-R Natasha Imran, Sana Nasir, Asma Yasir and Hadiqa Akram.) – Photo by Shameen Khan/Dawn.com
2:40 pm “The bomb is immoral”
Pervez Hoodbhoy stopped by for a quick chat with dawn.com, log on next week for an in-depth interview with the physicist. Photo by Sara Faruqi/Dawn.com
“The rest of the world is moving forward, if our goals are in the past, we can’t look to move forward.” – Pervez Hoodbhoy
3:00 pm Book launch of Hassan Dars Jo Risalo
Mohammed Hanif moderating the Hassan Darsjo Risalo. -Photo by Shameen Khan/Dawn.com
It was a packed session at the book launch of poet Hassan Dars’s collection of poetry at KLF. Friends, colleagues, associates and anyone who ever interacted with Hassan Dars attended the session, andit seemed almost everyone wanted to share something. Due to limited time and space, moderator Mohammad Hanif took as many questions and comments as possible. After a while, the organizers had to ask people to stop coming because there was not enough room. Described as one of the emerging poets of the future generation by poet Sheikh Ayaz, Hassan Dars was known for his romantic poetry. It was this same facet that made some people in the audience question the collection of Sufi poetry in the book itself, these people wondered why Sufi poetry of all things had appeared in the book. His friend Sardar Shah, said that if the compilation seems scattered, it was because they found it in “bits and pieces.” His sudden and tragic death last year was the main motivation behind bringing out a collection of his poetry, which was so diverse it may have seemed somewhat scattered. Another close friend, Mazhar Laghari said what he learned from Dars’s death is that, “compile your poetry while you are alive otherwise it’ll be up to others to compile it,” to chuckles all around. -Text by Saher Baloch
“Whatever doesn’t happen in love and war happens in literature.” – Mazhar Leghari
03:15 pm On organizing literature festivals In the second half of the first day of the Karachi Literature Festival, a session Ameena Saiyid, Erica James, Adrienne Loftus Parkins, Jon Slack and Asif Farrukhi discussed the sudden boom in literature festivals. Jon Slack said that literature festivals have a way of firing up people’s imagination. People grow up reading books and develop an attachment to those books, and festivals give them a chance to meet those writers. In the age of the blogosphere, and social media, Erica James said that, because the internet has given such a broad swath of people the ability to write, festivals give aspiring writers a chance to speak to writers who have been successful. -Text by Salman Haqqi
3:30 pm Aaj ka Ghalib
“Ghalib was a poet who did not leave his position vacant for anyone.” – Shamim Hanafi
3:45 PMLiterary Bytes Zoya Altaf tells us about the sessions she attended so far, and why this years festival may be better than last years. http://vimeo.com/59724274
3:45 pm Confronting the bomb
The panelists at the Confronting the Bomb session. – Photo by Shameen Khan/Dawn.com
“Are we safer today, than we were before acquiring the nuclear bomb? That remains to be seen, but I personally believe, no.” - Pervez Hoodbhoy
4:00 pm The power of illustration
“Creativity can solve problems.” -Photo by Eefa Khalid/Dawn.com
4:15 pm Cultural enlightenment: Challenge and opportunity
“We don’t have a culture of reasoning, where questions can make all the difference, we are a culture of doubt. Cultural enlightenment is our right to an open society, we need to rethink our cultural paradigm.” – Moonis Ahmer
Whose Pakistan? Writing Pakistan in English today
Bina Shah speaking during a session on writing about Pakistan in English. -Photo by Alisia Pek/Dawn.com
“I feel very protective about Pakistan but I also want to be honest about it. Be careful not to become a vigilante in the process of being concerned.” – Bina Shah
We have a powerful medium Television, to reach out to people, but it has been grossly misused: Amar Jaleel #KLF— Saher Baloch (@Saherb) February 15, 2013
5:15 PMUrdu representation at KLF As inclusive as KLF is trying to be this year, some Urdu authors and personalities still feel that perhaps literature in the language is under represented.
Author Razia Fasih Ahmad at KLF. – Photo by Sara Faruqi/Dawn.com
“A few people came and started a conversation with me, but it was unfortunate they didn’t know who I was,” said Razia Fasih Ahmad who is a writer who has been published in both Urdu and English. It makes me a little sad she said.
Mustansar Hussain Tarar posing for a photograph with a few fans. – Photo by Sara Faruqi/Dawn.com
Echoing Ahmad’s feelings, renowned author, actor and former radio show host, Mustansar Hussain Tarar said: “It’s not a complaint, just an observation that Urdu writers present at the festival seem to not get recognition as compared to their English counterparts.” He added that English writers are, after all, an extension of Urdu ones. The festival is “commendable” however he said. – Text by Sara Faruqi
“We threw a net and caught all these great writings.Maniza Naqvi on Karachi: Our own Stories in Our Words.
Author Maniza Naqvi at the Karachi Literature Festival. – Photo by Sara Faruqi/Dawn.com
On the topic of regional languages, author Maniza Naqvi spoke about the number of submissions which were received in Sindhi, Balochi and Urdu for a book she has edited. Karachi: Our own stories in Our Words, which is being launched tomorrow, was compiled through advertisements in newspapers asking citizens to send in their stories. The publisher received more than 170 submissions out of which 60 were in regional languages, which would indicate that storytelling in local languages is alive and well.
5:00 PM – 6:00 PMA pictorial glance at the happenings at day one of KLF13
– Photo by Eefa Khalid/Dawn.com
Mustansar Hussain Tarar chats with Mujahid Barelvi. – Photo by Eefa Khalid/Dawn.com
Actors from Zambeel Dramatic Readings at a session. – Photo by Eefa Khalid
People browsing through books after the rain during KLF. – Photo by Shameen Khan/Dawn.com
Sheema Kermani takes a break during the festival. _ Photo by Eefa Khalid/dawn.com
The puppet show may have been cancelled but the entertainers still roamed around the garden. – Photo by Shameen Khan/Dawn.com
6:00 PMPulp Fiction in the subcontinent
Panelists at the Resonance of Pulp Fiction in the Popular Imagination sessions. – Photo by Eefa Khalid/Dawn.com
“Popular or pulp fiction also strengthen classical literature. It raised the reading standard among the masses.” – Zahida Hina
“I think popular literature contains two elements, one is the quality of attraction and second a level of universal reality.” - Amjad Islam Amjad
As the sun set on a wet and windy Karachi evening, day one of the Karachi Literature Festival winded down, after a much livelier second half. Despite the usual ramifications that come with rain in Karachi, buoyed by steaming cups of coffee and tea, fans of literature and culture alike, braved the chilly winds, to absorb some fascinating talks and spirited discussions. Saad Shafqat spoke bluntly about the mercurial nature of the Pakistani cricket team; eminent scientist, Pervez Hoodbhoy, warned us of the inherent immorality of nuclear weapons and the dangerous consequences it has for the world at large. Mohammed Hanif led a heated, and at times controversial, session on Sindi poet Hasan Dars questioning if he was Sufi or not. To top it all off, Ameena Saiyid, Managing Director of the Oxford University Press was honored with a knighthood from France. And with that, day one is a wrap. We’ll see you folks tomorrow with day two of our ongoing coverage of the 4th Annual Karachi Literature Festival. Goodnight, and stay dry! – Text by Salman Haqqi