The second day of Karachi Literature Festival was attended with the same enthusiasm as the first one.
It started with a varied range of sessions, one of them was Bringing the Past into the Present in which Dr.FramjiMinwalla and NomanulHaq conversed with Ayesha Jalal. Ayesha Jalal shared her views on the relations among and between the two countries in fact amongst all the countries in South Asia that we need decolonization of the mind and by that we need to go beyond the British assumptions about this region, and this applies both to India and Pakistan. Further she highlighted the importance of religion and that this is what brought two nations into existence.
PAKISTAN: A Fragile state or resilient state was moderated by one of the great minds of the country MujahidBarelviSahab who is a well-known journalist, commentator and author, also known for the vigorous defender of the freedom of expression. The session was aimed to discuss the current situation of the state and its ability to stand still on its feet. After introducing the panelists for the session he opened the door of discussion with KahanQatil Badlte Hain FaqatChehray Badalte Hain AjabApna Safar Hai Fasle Bi SathChalte Haina verse from hafiz jalandharis poetry. Opening the session on the topic Mian Raza Rabbani, the chairman of the senate; shed light upon our history as a resilient state which has been engaged in wars against terrorism from its very inception and then the economic turmoil that we as a nation have been through and are still struggling with. Encouraging the resilience of the intellectuals, labors and common men of the state he pointed out the fact that the state is eating this resilience of the nation by cutting their hands so that they don’t ask question or raise voices against the injustice by the state and become spectators’ or rather silent victims. As he mentioned “The government in its deliberate attempt to change the ideology of the Pakistan has neglected the speeches of Quaid that projects Pakistan as a progressive state not a garrison state that it has become now”. Mrhamid in his contribution to the discussion highlighted the fact that we, even after 70 years of our existence, are still not being able to face the truth and the facts, our ignorance had already led to the separation of Bengal in 1947, and he continued on a lighter note that “Wo smajhtayhain k wo humsealag hue, main smjhtahunhumneunheinalagkiya ha”. The session was concluded on the note that our issues aren’t external; in fact, the problems lie internally. As Mr. Ahmed Rashid said “Until we develop a coherent narrative, shared by our political, military and civil system that includes all the elements, we cannot fight extremism.
The most awaited session and the highlight of today was PhoolaurShabnamhosted by the famous Bushra Ansari in the honor of JharnaBasak, better known by her stage name Shabnam, the famous Lollywood legendary artist. She last visited Pakistan in 2012 along with her husband where they both got the lifetime achievement award from the government of Pakistan. She was so delighted and overwhelmed by the response and love she received from her Pakistani fans. During the session she had gone into the nostalgic feel of the older times and while talking about her memories she shared her experiences with the audience. “I would love to come back here and I will come whenever the people of Pakistan will call me,” she added. She respects the immense love that she received here and when the question was asked that would she accept the offer to work in a Pakistani movie, she said I’d love to.
The session, International and Regional Politics, was moderated by Dr. Huma Baqai and the panelists for this session were Mathew A.Cook, Zia Mian, Najmuddin Shaikh, and Asad Sayeed. The issue discussed was Pakistan’s strategic position in this fiasco of whether CPEC is in our favor or it’s just another attempt towards the development by our government. According to Mr. Zia Pakistan has become China’s Israel now as he mentioned that “Chinese see Pakistan as their military client”, and this is what we have had already experienced because of our brotherly and cordial relations with US, he said with a grin on his face. Answering the question asked by Huma Baqai, Mr. Najmuddin Shaikh said that we are looking at CPEC as one road belt and not pondering over the fact that it’s just an element of a bigger picture. He mentioned that the mindset behind the CPEC is the mentality that compels us to let others take care of our problems and not rectify our mistakes on our own.
There were total of 11 books launched today at KLF that included High-Life in Pkaistan by Regula Bubb, Nobody killed her by SabynJaveri, The party wprker by Omar Shahid Hamid, Tum Kabeer and Qila-e-Faramoshi by FehmidaRiaz, Sadequain and the Culture of Enlightment by Akbar Naqvi, How Pakistan got Divided by Rao Farman Ali, The Party Worker by Omar Shahid Hamid, August voices by Sudheendra Kulkarni, Nobody killed her by SabynJaveri, TeesraQadam by NasiraZuberi, Kalaam-e-Aarifaan by Hasan Aziz, and Erotext: Desire, Disease, Delusion, Dream, Downpower by Sudeep Sen.
The session Roshan Khayali: A Homage to Sibte Hasan included a 10 minutes documentary of the work of Sibte Hasan who is known to be the pioneer of the Socialism and Marxism in Pakistan.
Sneak Preview of The Selected Works of Abdullah the Cossak by H.M. Naqvi hosted by Dr. FramjiMinwala gave us an overview of the book, the passion of the writer for this city and how he looks at the development this city and its residents have made.
Second Day of the event came to an end with a Mushaira in which renowned poets of the country like KishwarNaheed, Anwar Shaoor, FehmidaRiaz, PeerzadaQasim, ImdaadHussaini, Afzal Ahmad Syed, Naseem Syed, and many more participated.