l will be held at the Alhamra Art Centre from Feb 23 to Feb 24.

According to a press release issued on Monday, the two-day festival includes panel discussions on Urdu and English literature, and book reading. Scheduled panels include The Courtesan in Urdu Novels, Legacy of Political Autobiographies, Urdu Writing’s Future in the Punjab, The Holy Warrior in Pakistani Cinema, Literature of Resistance, Discovering Pakistan’s English-Language Poetry, Challenges of Language and Storytelling in the 21st Century.

“We are excited about the interest and goodwill the festival has generated and feel strongly about the programme and the panellists we have the privilege of hosting,” said Nusrat Jamil, chairperson of the Lahore Literary Festival Advisory Board. She says: “This is a long-term initiative, which will enrich the cultural landscape of this unique city every year.”

Ahmed Rashid, Ayesha Jalal, Bapsi Sidhwa, Daniyal Mueenuddin, Hameed Haroon, Intizar Hussain, Jeet Thayil, Linda Bird Francke, Mohsin Hamid, Nayyar Ali Dada, Salima Hashmi, Tariq Ali, Tehmina Durrani and Zehra Nigah will speak at the festival.

“The literary festival has been made possible with the generous assistance of individuals and foundations and support of the city district government,” says Razi Ahmed, festival’s founder and chief executive. “We are closely working with schools and colleges in and around Lahore to ensure youth participation in this event geared at promoting literature reading and critical thinking.”

The Dawn Media Group is the official media partner of the Lahore Literary Festival 2013, which is incorporated under the Societies Registration Act 1860 with the objective of enriching the cultural experience of Lahore’s residents by creating an institutional platform for fostering and furthering Lahore’s literary traditions.

Tickets for the festival will be available in mid-February. Citizens and journalists who wish to attend can register on the spot at the venue or register online.

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