First day of KLF was great. Asma Jehangir stole the show with her hard hitting speech.— Dr. Taimur Rahman (@Taimur_Laal) February 7, 2014
6:40 pm Mushaira The first day of the Karachi Literature Festival ended with a Mushaira showcasing about 20 poets, including Muhammad Salman Sarwat, Attiya Dawood, Inaam Nadeem, Aqeel Abbas Jafri, Harris Khalique, Sahar Imdad, Fatema Hassan, Sarwat Zehra, Shaukat Abid, Tanveer Anjum, and Afzal Ahmed Syed. The nizaamat of the Mushaira was done by the eminent poet Fatema Hassan.
Excellent piece of news at #KLF2014: the British Council library is soon re-opening. (My childhood would've been poorer without it.)— Kamila Shamsie (@kamilashamsie) February 7, 2014
6:36 pm Mushaira First two lines from a poem by Aqeel Abbas Jafri. Pehle shehar mein aag lagayein namaloom afraad, Phir aman ke naghmein gaayein namaloom afraad.
6:20 pm Importance of School Libraries
6:15 pm Importance of School Libraries
The only book we have been commanded to read we don't read but the only book we read is Facebook – Faisal Mushtaq
6:10 pm Importance of School Libraries
The entire reading and learning system should be built on a book – Faisal Mushtaq
6:07pm Importance of School Libraries
Reading is not a supplementary part of learning but an integral part of it – Faisal Mushtaq
6:07 pm Importance of School Libraries
A school without a book is like a human body without a soul. – Faisal Mushtaq
6:06 pm Importance of School Libraries
We need to start a national movement to find more and more libraries around the country. – Nargis Sultana
5:39 pm Identity and Literature: New Trends in Pakistani Writing in English
5:31pm Karachiwala: A Subcontinent Within a City. A Talk by Rumana Hussain
5:18 pm State School Reform
5:13 pm Round Table of Pakistani Authors with French Publisher, Marc Parent
Writing in India has come to a certain comfort which lacks the vigour you read in Pakistani literature today. Marc Parent (French Publisher)
5:05 pm Karachiwala: A Subcontinent Within a City. A Talk by Rumana Hussain
Karachiwala is a very subversive book as it explores diverse identities and shows the reader that there is no danger in the differences resulting from the numerous identities documented in Rumana Husain's book. - Haris Gazdar (moderator)
5:05 pm Karachiwala: A Subcontinent Within a City. A Talk by Rumana Hussain
We are a highly politicised culture. – Ali Sethi
5:00 pm Human Rights and Wrongs in Pakistan
The Taliban are exploiting religion and with impunity. No religion can be so hard (as to disregard humanity). Minorities are constantly threatened with blasphemy, forget the Ahmedis, they are not even treated as human. –Asma Jahangir
4:58 pm Ali Baba Chalees Chor
4:54 pm Ali Baba Chalees Chor
4:47 pm Interview with Dr Rajmohan Gandhi Dr Rajmohan speaks about his association with Dawn and talks about whether India is what Gandhi envisioned.
4:46pm Storytelling by Amra Alam
4:40 pm The Pakistani Muse: Literature and Music in Pakistan
4:35 pm Human Rights and Wrongs in Pakistan Aasim Sajjad Akhtar, Professor of Political Economy at Quaid-i-Azam University, speaking about his inclusion into politics:
One of the problems we have is that we consistently bash politics. Bashing politics, staying away from it or ignoring it is not going to solve the human rights issues. We need to find a solution from within. – Aasim Sajjad Akhtar
4:33 pm Human Rights and Wrongs in Pakistan
If you are a Matric pass Baloch or a Shia and a doctor or lawyer, then your life expectancy in Pakistan is halved. I feel relatively safe. That's because I am Punjabi, a man and Sunni, toh jeenay keh chances zyada hain. – Mohammed Hanif
4:32 pm State School Reform
Capitalistic approach to education won't work. Education is not a commodity that can be traded, it is a fundamental right. – Shahnaz Wazir Ali
4:31 pm State School Reform
According to the latest figures, 150,000 children dropped out after class one. – Musharraf Zaidi
4:29 pm State School Reform
Education reforms cannot take place without public private partnership. – Shehzad Roy
4:25 pm Basti aur Uskay Baad
The silver jubilee edition of the novel “Basti” was discussed with renowned novelist and short story writer Intizar Hussain whereas critic and writer Asif Farrukhi was the moderator of the session.
Basti had been shortlisted for the Man Booker International Prize 2013. The partition of the sub-continent inspired Husain to write the novel.
Intizar Hussain said he initially wrote Urdu poetry, but then left it and started penning down short stories.
Answering a question about the partition of the sub-continent, Intizar Husain said if people do not settle their disputes, then history will decide the fate of the people.
He also highlighted the importance of storytelling from elders at home as it inspired kids to broaden their imagination.
Talking about his relatively new novel, Tazkara, he said “I was living near a jail where few of the people were hanged openly.”
“This incident inspired me to think and write the novel,” he said. – Text by Suhail Yousuf
4:20 pm The Pakistani Muse: Literature and Music in Pakistan
The more channels we have, the less music we have. – Tina Sani
4:11 pm Book Launch: The Rest is Silence: Zahoor ul Akhlaq: Art and Society in Pakistan by Roger Connah
3:55 pm Memory and the Imagination Responding to a question by moderator Muneeza Shamsie during the session "Memory and the Imagination", speaker Rukshana Ahmad said “translation is very hard.” She said she cannot afford to be complacent, but added that translating fiction was relatively easy.
Ahmad said she had attempted to translate the works of Saadat Hasan Manto and Ismat Chughtai, adding that she had also recently polished her translations because “I think they were not right.”
Amidst laughs by the audience, Ahmad said “the right meaning hits you after publication”.
Meanwhile, commenting on how she tackles different kinds of genres when it comes to translating plays, Ahmad said “one has to learn the tricks of the trade”. She said writers generally like to believe that everything comes in a gush, but it is a very arduous process which is discovered through writing and rewriting.
She moreover added that one has to respect the intention of the original writer while adding that she was a “fairly loyal writer”.
When someone from the audience asked her as to how she manages to remain loyal to the work of writers who are no longer alive, Ahmad said “you have to be loyal to your interpretations”.
“It’s never perfect, but the great part about writing is you are your own authority,” she concluded. – Text by Fatema Imani
3:50 pm Geo-political Equation: Pakistan in the World
Speaking about sustainability - by 2050 we will have a population of around 350 million. How will we produce jobs? We already have fragile food security. It is heading to be a totally non-viable country. And at present we show no signs of fundamental change to improving our situation. To put it mildly we have a very bleak future, if we have one. — Ashraf Jehanigr Qazi
3:41 pm Geo-political Equation: Pakistan in the World
3:34 pm Memory and the Imagination
To state the obvious – it is the moving itself that dictates the growth, not the direction. – Rukhsana Ahmad
3:25 pm Geo-political Equation: Pakistan in the World
No mighty nation has to worry about its geo-political situation. They only look to strengthen it... – Hussain Haroon
3:15 pm Pani, Parinday aur Maut Discussing the themes of his novels in the session Pani, Parinday aur Maut, novelist and travelogue writer Mustansir Hussain Tarar said a scholar from University of Peshawar is currently doing a doctorate degree on his writings in which she discovered that three important elements of his novels are Water, Birds and Death.
Tarar said: “I was living near the River Chenab and was always inspired by the river. These sentiments reflected in my writing as well.”
He said a writer and a novelist also try to go beyond the boundaries whether they are social restrictions or other bondages.
Talking about the element of death in his writings, he said that he was always fascinated by it and added that in his book “Pak Saraye”, it was a very crucial part of the plot.
“Death is actually a part of life,” he added. – Text by Suhail Yousuf
3:10 pm Geo-political Equation: Pakistan in the World
Is it meaningful to discuss foreign policy without properly addressing our problems at home. How will we face the potentially lethal challenges that face us tomorrow? – Ashraf Jehangir Qazi – Former senior diplomat and retired foreign service professional
3:04 pm Bushra's Barbs
3:00 pm The World of the Novel One of the sessions that followed the inauguration ceremony was The World of the Novel. The session was moderated by Shandana Minhas, a Karachi-based writer. The panel consisted of writers Thomas Brussig, Bernado Cavalho, translator Gioia Guerzani, scholars Claire Chambers and Aamir R. Mufti.
Minhas started the session by asking the novelists about what enticed them to write novels. Cavalho found it the freest form of narrative.
Brussig, a writer from Germany, replied that the novel is fascinating to him because of the sheer variety of forms with the novel itself. He went on to say that the novel is a rather difficult genre, and that the rules of writing a novel are almost entirely created by the author.
Regarding the element of toxicity that comes with the writing process, Brussig said that the entire writing process itself is a process of endurance. To the same question, Cavalho replied that he actually felt protected from the toxicity while he is writing because he is inside the novel instead of outside.
The conversation then moved on to the question of translation within the genre of the novel. The moderator invited speaker Gioia Guerzani, a translator from Italy, to talk about translating novels, as well as short stories. Guerzani said that translation has become an important bridge in present times between countries, cultures, languages and people, and also possesses a huge market.
Guerzani further said that from a global perspective the novel is the easiest form of narrative. When asked if she preferred translating novels or short stories, she replied that her preference depended on whether the writing was good or not.
To a question about whether there was more bad writing being produced now or was it a mere perception, scholar Claire Chambers replied that the genre of short story was particularly strong in South Asia. She noted that many writers now write a combination of the novel and short story where the narrative has many characters that seem to be running separately from each other, and yet they are all connected by a specific incident.
Regarding a question about narrative in both the novel and the film, Brussig added that he preferred film to the novel as a way of telling a story because he found it much more effective. However, Mufti said that in numerous cases book-to-film adaptations, the film becomes the enemy of the book that it has been adapted from.
At the end of the session, all the panelists were asked about their favourite writers and texts by a member of the audience. The Q&A session was very short due to the lack of time. – Text by Soonha Abro
2:55 pm Geo-political Equation: Pakistan in the World**
I won't say the future is that there is no future.…after all there is nothing a miracle can't fix. – Zafar Hilaly – Former Diplomat
2:54 pm Geo-political Equation: Pakistan in the World**
India is now driving a hard bargain with Pakistan today because it knows it can. Pakistan has never been weaker, more divided or globally unpopular. – Zafar Hilaly – Former Diplomat
2:45 pm The Faiz Everyone Loves
Speaking at “The Faiz Everyone Loves” session, panelist Moneeza Hashmi, said Faiz’s depth in his poetry was unraveling every day.
“I will soon publish letters of my father, Faiz Ahmed Faiz, which are still unpublished.” Hashmi added.
Meanwhile, critic and translator of Faiz’s work, Mahmood Jamal, said Faiz’s poetry was the dream of our nation. He said no other voice was comparable to Faiz, adding that it was filled with objective and hope.
He moreover said Faiz never expressed any ill sentiments in his poetry. On the other hand, he touched people’s hearts with his profound words.
Wajid Jawad, another critic of Faiz and Ghalib, said the former’s poetry was accessible in every kind of situation. He said we could even apply his poetry to explain our present scenario.
Jawad said Faiz was extremely sensitive to the suffering of poor and marginalised people which he described beautifully in one of his poems, “Kuttey”. – Text by Suhail Yousuf
2:41 pm Memory and the Imagination Quote by Rukhsana Ahmed amidst laughs by the audience.
I never had the courage to write a novel. I started writing a short story and it never ended. – Rukhsana Ahmad
2:46 pm Geo-political Equation: Pakistan in the World**
Taliban are congenitally unable to mix with society. The notion that they are our misguided brothers and that negotiations will help are far from factual. – Zafar Hilaly – Former Diplomat
2:46 pm **Geo-Political Equation: Pakistan in the World **
We need a foreign policy and have to take hard decisions. This includes our need to see Taliban for what they really are: A war society whose existence depends on war. – Zafar Hilaly – Former Diplomat
2:43 pm Pani, Parinday aur Maut
There is no beauty in the world without death. – Mustansar Hussain Tarar
2:41 pm Memory and the Imagination
Writing was something I started doing for self-expression and income. – Rukhsana Ahmad
2:31 pm Memory and the Imagination
Ruksana's work is centred on women's lives but it is very diverse. – Muneeza Shamsie
1:15 pm - 2:15 pm We're now on lunch break. Sessions will resume at 2:15pm
1:56 pm Talking to the Butterfly: In conversation with Moni Mohsin
1:55 pm Talking to the Butterfly: In conversation with Moni Mohsin
1:50 pm The World of the Novel
1:47 pm Book Launch: The Kashmir Dispute 1947 by A.G. Noorani
The best solution for Kashmir is that both countries should leave Kashmir alone and a self governing (khumukhtar) Kashmir should establish friendly relations with both countries. Eventually this will happen but after suffering much harm and damage. – Writer and expert on South Asia, Victoria Scholfield quotes Faiz.
1:42 pm Book Launch: The Kashmir Dispute 1947 by A.G. Noorani
1:38 pm Power of the Fourth Estate
A morally powerful forth state is one which criticizes it's own government – Matthieu Aikins
1:38 pm Power of the Fourth Estate
Talking about the power of the media - the question is what kind of power and power to do what – Matthieu Aikins
Rajmohan Gandhi tweet:
1:30 pm Power of the Fourth Estate
In Pakistan there are so many media channels that talk shows have to be a form of entertainment and guests are chosen to fight each other which shows that opinions are more important than fact and figures. – Saeed Shah
1:18 pm Book Launch: The Kashmir Dispute 1947 by A.G. Noorani
Persuade Indian government to give an independent Kashmir and we can do the same. You should not assume that Pakistan does not want an independent Kashmir. – Zafar Hilaly speaking to A.G. Noorani
1:17 pm The Faiz Everyone Loves
1:12 pm Book Launch: The Kashmir Dispute 1947 by A.G. Noorani
My sympathies aren't with the Indians or the Pakistanis. They are entirely with the Kashmiris...give peace a chance. – A.G. Noorani
1:04 pm The World of the Novel
Novels get recognition for countries, culture, a language, and people on the world stage. – Aamir R. Mufti
1:03 pm Book Launch: The Kashmir Dispute 1947 by A.G. Noorani
When thinking of a solution to the Kashmir dispute only lose-lose comes to mind. – Zafar Hilaly – Former Diplomat
Film is a more effective form of storytelling these days – Thomas Brussig
12:58 pm Book Launch: The Kashmir Dispute 1947 by A.G. Noorani
I am an optimist but a skeptical optimist. Now what are the ground realities. The ground reality is Kashmir does not want to be part of India. It has not wanted that for over 65 years and it is not likely to change its mind in the next 65 years. – Iqbal Akhund - Former Advisor on Foreign Affairs and National Security
12:56 pm Power of the Fourth Estate
I find too much confusion in the media, I have a pessimistic view of it and the media is very powerful as well. – Rasul Baksh
12:53 pm Power of the Fourth Estate
The violence in Pakistan receives more attention than KLF. It's not positive but it's reality I guess. - Meghan Davidson
12:47 pm Book Launch: The Kashmir Dispute 1947 by A.G. Noorani
We are looking for an elusive win-win solution. Kashmir, however, can't be carved out like a piece of real estate. – Victoria Scholfield - Moderator
12:40 pm Power of the Fourth Estate
We ask ourselves, is the media autonomous or is it an instrument? – Rasul Baksh
12:24 pm The fifth Karachi Literature Festival was inaugurated with recitation of the national anthem by the children from the Citizens Education Development Foundation. Speeches by the festival’s organisers and representatives of the sponsors followed the national anthem.
Ameena Saiyid, founder and director of the KLF and managing director of Oxford University Press (OUP), announced that 28 titles would be launched at the KLF this year.
In his concluding remarks, Asif Farrukhi, co-founder of the festival, said that we are all an equal part of Pakistani literature.
A number of foreign dignitiaries, representatives of sponsors also made their speeches, in which they all hailed the KLF for enabling the making of new narratives, and a new image of Pakistan.
Amid a thunderous applause, Barbara Wickham, British Council’s director for Sindh and Balochistan, announced that after a very long time the British Council will soon reopen its Karachi offices.
The keynote speaker for the inauguration was the eminent historian, Dr Rajmohan Gandhi, grandson of Mahatma Gandhi. A classical dance performance by Nahid Siddiqui followed the inauguration keynote speech.
The inauguration ceremony ended with the announcing of the prizes. KLF Peace Prize was awarded to Akbar Ahmed’s The Thistle and the Drone. KLF Embassy of France Prize went to Uzma Aslam Khan’s book Thinner Than Skin. KLF Coca Cola Prize for Best non-fiction book went to Dr Osama Siddique for his book Pakistan’s Experience with Formal Law. – Text by Soonha Abro
The Sindh Government could at least give a public holiday the Friday of #KLF. God knows they've given them for lesser cause.— Shaheryar Mirza (@mirza9) February 7, 2014
12:10 pm KLF Coca Cola Prize for best non-fiction goes to Dr Osama Siddique for Pakistan's Experience with Formal Law
12:00 pm KLF Embassy of France Prize for best fiction goes to Uzma Aslam Khan for Thinner than Skin
11:43 am KLF Peace Prize goes to Thistle and the Drone by Akbar Ahmed
Literature removes boundaries, politics erects boundaries – Dr. Rajmohan Gandhi
Lovely to see KLF thriving! – Barbara Wickham, Director of Sindh Balochistan of British Council
We need to confront the rhetoric with our own narrative – German Consul General
Would like to pay tribute to the diversity of Pakistani literature – Philip Theobo, Ambassador of the Republic of France
Excited to be in the city of Karachi that is so dynamic and lively. – Philip Theobo, Ambassador of the Republic of France
We are all an equal part of Pakistani literature. – Asif Farrukhi
I am delighted to inform you that we will be launching 28 titles over the course of three days. – Ameena Saiyid
10:15 am And we're off! The inauguration is underway. A group of children from The Citizens Foundation sing the national anthem.