KARACHI          -            Third and last day of 11th Karachi Literature Festival, Sunday, drew a huge crowd of literature lovers. The enthusiastic engagement of the visitors including authors, artists, and literati is indicative of the inspiring ideas and debates of KLF generated.

Several stimulating discussions were held on the 3rd day including one titled “Urdu Adab Ki Rang-a-Rang Jehtain” with Azra Abbas, Arfa Sayeda Zehra, Attiya Dawood, Masud Mufti and Asghar Nadeem Syed, said release. Another popular session was ‘Student Politics in Pakistan: Back to the Future’ with Arooj Aurangzeb, Faisal Subzwari, Azhar Abbas, Khalid Amin, and Naghma Iqtidar as panellists and Nadeem Farooq Paracha as the moderator.

The exciting session titled ‘Pakistani Cinema in the Twenty- First Century’ featured Faseeh Bari Khan, Saqib Malik, Faysal Qureshi, Sheheryar Munawar Siddiqui, Bee Gul, and Sangeeta as speakers.

A discussion on ‘Karachi’s Literary Heritage: A Celebration’ took place featuring Ghazi Salahuddin, Iftikhar Ali Shallwani, Peerzada Salman, Rumana Husain, and Maniza Naqvi as speakers. ‘Maps of Belonging’ was the title of a conversation between Muneeza Shamsie and the award-winning writer Ahdaf Soueif.

A stimulating discussion was carried  out in the panel discussion on ‘Financial Inclusion and Women Empowerment’ between Reza Baqir, Ayesha Aziz, Ishrat Husain, and Muhammad Aurangzeb. The session ‘Kashmir: The Paradise Lost’ attracted a lot of attention. The panelists included Victoria Schofield, Athar Abbas, Mushaal Hussein Mullick, and Sardar Masood Khan. A fun-filled session titled ‘Punching Up: Young Comedians Redefining Satire’ featured Shehzad Ghias, Ali Gul Pir, Natalia Gul, and Gul Zaib Shakeel. It was moderated by Hamna Zubair.

There were readings on ‘Asad Mohammad Khan: The Living Legend’ by Zia Mohyeddin.

The topic of Media Crisis: Who is Responsible? was discussed by Azhar Abbas, Mubashir Zaidi, Owais Tohid and Sabrina Toppa.

The 3rd and final day of the Karachi Literature Festival concluded with a talk by the inimitable media person Javed Jabbar. It was titled ‘Mapping Pakistan’s Cultural Evolution over the Past 72 Years’ and highlighted the very imaginative, inspiring and uplifting journey of culture and art through Pakistan’s seven decades long existence.

The Chief Guest of the closing ceremony, President of Azad Jammu and Kashmir, Sardar Masood Khan said that every year, Karachi Literature Festival creates a tremendous space for exchange of ideas and promotion of literature in Pakistan.

It’s great to see that the festival organisers have created and sustained a literary space which was dying because of other available mediums.”

Masood Khan said that he was glad to see that the attendees looked satisfied and at peace, free enough to attend a literature festival. Unfortunately, people in occupied Kashmir did not had that luxury. He urged that everyone should speak up for Kashmiris. Guest of Honour British Deputy High Commissioner in Karachi, Mike Nithavrianakis also spoke.

Keynote speeches were made by Dr Ahdaf Soueif and Harris Khalique, while a Vote of Thanks was delivered by the Festival Organizer, Arshad Saeed Husain, Managing Director, Oxford University Press Pakistan.

Meanwhile, Urdu is a very sweet language and each para of a poem narrates complete story. Urdu’s sweetness is un-matched , says famous atomic scientist Dr. Abdul Qadeer Khan.

He was speaking at the launch of poetry collection of Vice Chancellor of Dr. Zia-ud-din University and former vice chancellor of University of Karachi Professor Dr. Peerzada Qasim Raza Siddiqui.

He said Dr. Peerzada’s poetry is very beautiful and of high standard and that he was very fond of reading poetry. Even in his columns, he said, he used to quote poetry of different poets.    

He said that after listening to beautiful poetry, one feels totally relaxed of the worries and depression. 

“I am surprised to see so many people gathered here to listen to the poetry, which showed great interest of the people in poetry,” he said.  

KU’s Vice Chancellor Prof. Dr. Khalid Mehmood Iraqi said Dr. Peerzada makes selection of words in his poetry, and also of the people in his practical life.     

Dr. Iraqi said that he had found Dr. Peerzada very polite, civilized and loving man, along with high character.

A leading businessman and former Senator Abdul Hasseb Khan advised new writers to benefit from the writings of Prof. Dr. Peerzada Qasim Raza to raise their quality of work. 

Vice Chancellor of Dr.Zia-ud-Din University Prof. Dr.Peerzada Qasim Raza Siddiqui regretted that intellectual and poets were focused on their professional life instead.   He paid rich tribute to Dr. Abdul Qadeer Khan and said he enjoyed un-matched respect and recognition by the nation as a whole after Father-of-the-Nation Quaid-e-Azem, Mohammed Ali Jinnah.