KARACHI – The 4th Karachi Literature Festival begun on Friday in the metropolis despite the return of distinguished Indian poet and filmmaker Gulzar, who was already in Pakistan, to India without attending the festival due to unknown reasons.

The event will have many sessions and book launches, along with theatrical presentations and a children’s literature festival. The citizens will be able to see world- renowned literatures, while the literary discussions, workshops etc will also highlight the festival, organised by Oxford University Press.

Lyricist Gulzar and filmmaker Vishal Bhardwaj, who were already in Pakistan, left suddenly for reasons that are still unclear. The organisers are of the view that they left for security reasons.

Like the previous three editions of the festival, this year too intellectually stimulating sessions with a galaxy of internationally renowned writers, authors and performing artistes are in store.

Ever since its inception in 2010, the Karachi Literature Festival has assumed a significant position in the cultural space of the country. If on the one hand it has successfully managed to dispel the notion that Pakistan in general and Karachi in particular cannot host international events, on the other it has provided book loving Pakistanis to see, hear, meet and interact with writers of high merit. Discussions on contemporary English literature with respect to reality and kitsch; Ghalib’s relevance to today’s world; and cricket and cricket writing will follow. This will happen alongside some important book launches. Sindhi poet the late Hasan Dars’s book will be launched as will be Nadeem Aslam’s new novel A Blind Man’s Garden. An interesting session titled Mantoiyat: Dastangoi is slated for the latter part of the day.