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11th edition of Karachi Literature Festival begins

11th edition of Karachi Literature Festival begins

KARACHI: There was a hint of summer in the air. Only a hint. The balmy breeze that blows across the Beach Luxury Hotel in the month of February every year has almost become synonymous with the Karachi Literature Festival (KLF). It was no different on Friday evening when it welcomed book lovers with its feathery touch, amidst fears that a global health crisis might also engulf the city of Karachi, to the 11th edition of the festival.

Proceedings began with managing director of Oxford University Press Arshad Saeed Husain’s welcome address in which he highlighted the importance of education.

He said that the rise of digital technology had given momentum to the written word. It was no longer restricted, and travelled at the speed of light. The KLF is not a luxury, it’s a necessity, he added.

‘Tragedy of education’

Federal Minister for Education and Professional Training Shafqat Mahmood was the chief guest of the opening ceremony.

He appreciated the fact that while coming to the venue he faced a traffic jam but it was because of a literature festival.

He agreed with Mr Husain that there’s a tragedy of education in the country because there existed three education systems at a time. But he claimed that by April next year, students would be able to study one curriculum across the country.

Federal education minister says there will be one curriculum across the country by next April

UK High Commissioner Christian Turner spoke a bit in Urdu, kitabein ahm hain [books are important], which immediately earned him a generous round of applause. He emphasised on three words: perceptions, connections and discourse.

Italian Consul General Anna Ruffino and a representative of the US consulate Jason Green talked about the event’s significance and their contribution to it.

Three prizes were also given on the occasion.

KLF-Getz Pharma fiction prize went to Red Birds by Mohammed Hanif.

KLF-Habib Metro Non-fiction prize was won by Interpretations of Jihad in South Asia by Tariq Rehman.

KLF-Infaq Foundation Urdu literature prize was bagged by Hasan Manzar for his novel Ay Falak-i-Na Insaaf.

Arts Council of Pakistan Karachi’s Balochi book prize was won by poet Munir Momin and Sindhi book prize was given to Tariq Qureshi.

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