THIS is with reference to the report “In ‘tumultuous times’, KLF begins with focus on sustainability” (Feb 17), which mentioned the three ‘guests of honour’ at the opening session; the counsels-general of the United States, France and Germany. To put it bluntly, the choice of the organisers was disgusting and frustrating. The least I could do was to boycott the event, and that is what I did. I would like to believe that many others wold have done so.

At a time when every decent human being around the world is condemning the support by these three countries to the genocide being carried out by Israel in Gaza, it was shameful on the part of the organisers to even invite the representatives of these collaborating countries. Their own people are out on the streets protesting against their policies, and here we are calling them ‘guests of honour’. It was a decision that was as insensible as it was insensitive.

Was the ‘honour’ bestowed on these diplomats because their countries have provided funds to the event organisers? If that is the case, the organisers should reveal the amounts provided, and why. Besides, these diplomats were not, in fact, literary figures by any stretch of imagination, so why were they given a public platform to engage with Pakistani audiences at an event that was claimed to be a literary festival?

Moreover, a further indication of the organisers’ rather spineless approach to literature was the choice of this year’s theme, ‘Sustainability: Words changing Mindsets’. Given the suppression of the spoken and written word around the world that is like imposing a full-fledged censorship, a far more relevant theme, reflecting the essence of entire discussion, would have been, ‘Literature of Resistance’.

Vaqar Ahmed
Karachi

Published in Dawn, February 21st, 2024

Opinion

Editorial

Noshki killings
Updated 14 Apr, 2024

Noshki killings

It must be asked why Baloch separatists continue to target civilians as well as security men despite large deployment.
Upholding the law
14 Apr, 2024

Upholding the law

THE recent discord in Bahawalnagar offers a chance to reflect on the sanctity of the law and its enforcement across...
Tragic travels
14 Apr, 2024

Tragic travels

FOR those embarking on road and boat journeys, the probability of fatal accidents has seen a steady rise. The recent...
Security lapses
Updated 13 Apr, 2024

Security lapses

Ensuring the safety of foreign citizens is paramount, not just for diplomatic relations but for our economic future.
An eventful season
13 Apr, 2024

An eventful season

THE Senate chairman and deputy chairman were elected unopposed, and 41 new senators were sworn in on Tuesday,...
Living rough
13 Apr, 2024

Living rough

WE either don’t see them or don’t want to see them — not even when they are actively trying to get our...