By Afshan s Khan
Published Date: Apr 17, 2017
Anwar Maqsood dominates the last day session
Islamabad’s mega literature celebrations ended here on Sunday as the Fifth Islamabad Literature Festival concluded with various interesting sessions. The success of the event could be gauged by the large number of vibrant participants who attended on the three days.
The three-day festival was organised by Oxford University Press (OUP) while this year the event was sponsored by Pakistan Petroleum Limited (PPL), AWAAZ, Tapal, Sustainable Development Policy Institute (SDPI), Goethe Institute, and Embassy of Italy.
The key note speakers at the closing ceremony of the fifth Islamabad Literature Festival included famous poet Iftikhar Arif, Omar Shahid Hamid and Nafisa Shah. The concluding address was delivered by Oxford University Press MD and founder of ILF Ameena Saiyid and Co-founder Dr. Asif Farrukhi.
While addressing the closing session, OUP MD Ameena Saiyid said that “As this festival comes to its end, I hope that, each of us will have found his or her knowledge added to, or viewpoint altered, in some way or the other. This is a unique kind of event, one that does not leave anyone unaffected”. She further said that ILF will bring more and more colors in the future. This ILF has focused on Partition and Independence as this is the 70th year of Pakistan’s creation. At Oxford University Press, we are celebrating this important year by publishing 70 books on Pakistan, its literature, history, culture, sports, economics and as many disciplines and subjects as we can. We call this series the Platinum Series, she added. Before I close, I need to express my thanks to the representatives of the media for their interest and enthusiasm. My thanks are due to all our partners and co-sponsors who shared in making this occasion a success.
Renowned poet Iftikhar Arif praised the ILF organizers for a unique gathering of intellectuals, poets, writers and journalists under a roof to have detailed discussions on a variety of topics including literature, politics and current affairs. Literature could become the major tool to achieve positive societal changes, he further added.
Earlier, ILF started its third day with some amazing interactive sessions, dialogues and book launches. However, the last day of ILF was dominated by renowned artists Anwer Maqsood as he had a session “Uljhay Suljhay Anwar which was participated by Imrana Maqsood, Hoori Noorani and Sarmad Khoosat. A house-full at the session presented a huge tribute by the audience to the living legend . President Azad Kashmir Sardar Mohammad Masood Khan participated in a session “Kashmir: Two Sides to a Question The future of a dispute: Is a solution possible?” along with A.G. Noorani, and Riaz H. Khokhar while the session was moderated by Harris Khalique. Nasim Zehra had a conversation with Sherry Rehman on “Can politicians and media be on the same side”. In another session “Murder between the covers: Crime Fiction, two crime writers Omar Shahid Hamid, Sabyn Javeri discussed their creative journey” moderated by Shehryar Fazli.
Harris Khalique’s book Crimson Papers: Reflections on Struggle, Suffering, and Creativity in Pakistan was also discussed in a session with Navid Shahzad, Afrasiab Khattak, Harris Khalique, and Rasul Bakhsh Rais. Social Media aspects were also talked about and “New strategies for creativity and change” were discussed between Adnan Khan Kakar, Leena Hashir, Moeed Pirzada, and Slimane Zeghidour while Wajahat Masood moderated the session.
On the ever popular Dastangoi based on Ismat Aapa aur Unki Kahanian from Ismat Chughtai ‘s Kaghazi hai Pairahan and her short stories ‘Chirri ki Dukki’ and ‘Amar Bail’ had the ears of the audience. The Fawad Khan, Syed Meesum Naqvi and Bakhtawar Mazhar had the complete attention of the audience.. Renowned journalists Zarrar Khuhro, Wusatullah Khan and Mubashir Zaidi presented their live show Zara Hut Kay on the last day of ILF as well. Nimra Bucha moderated a session “Small Screen Intimacy and Big Screen Splendour” along with participants including Samina Ahmed, Rehan Sheikh, Seema Taher Khan, and Sultana Siddiqui.
On its last day, ILF also hosted many book launches including Intikhab: Khalida Hussain compiled by Asif Farrukhi, Intikhab: Masood Ashar compiled by Asif Farrukhi, The Aleph Review-Taufiq Rafat: Defining the Pakistani Idiom, Teesra Qadam by Nasira Zuberi and The Corporate Governance Landscape of Pakistan by Sadia Khan, Kalaam e Aarifaan by Hasan Aziz.
The closing ceremony of ILF was followed by an enthralling dance performance by Shayma Saiyid which was widely acknowledged by the audience.