KLF to bring Nehru’s niece this year
KARACHI: The sixth Karachi Literature Festival plans to bring Jawaharlal Nehru’s niece, Nayantara Sahgal, to the meet of literary buffs this year.
The organisers are expecting up to 100,000 visitors at the three-day festival that starts on February 6 at the Beach Luxury Hotel. With the large turnout expected, the organisers are even using the hotel’s private parking space to accommodate as many people as possible.
The festival organisers, Oxford University Press managing director Ameena Saiyid and founder Asif Farrukhi, shared these details at a press conference at Arts Council on Friday. They were accompanied by ‘I Am Karachi’ consortium member Jamil Yusuf, Arts Council secretary Ahmed Shah and the representatives of the consulates of Italy and Germany.
“The festival has grown tremendously over the years,” said Saiyid. “From 15,000 visitors in 2012 to 70,000 in 2014, we are expecting that this time there will be at least 100,000 people visiting the festival.”
KLF is an expression for Karachiites who want to live, said Shah. “The law and order problem has created a hopeless situation and it is the people who come up with such events to make things better,” he said.
This year, the festival will be hosting 85 sessions with 210 Pakistani and 37 international authors and speakers from nine different countries, shared Saiyid, adding that 26 books will be launched as well.
Poet Zehra Nigah and Sahgal, the author of Rich Like Us, will be the keynote speakers at the inauguration.
Germany’s consul-general Dr Tilo Klinner said that 18 books have been nominated for KLF Peace Prize, which is similar to the Frankfurt prestigious award for authors who have promoted peace in society and the international community through their writings. “Other than the prizes, we are also excited about the intellectual discourse by authors during the festival,” he said.
This year’s festival also has the support of ‘I Am Karachi’ peace campaign. Yusuf appreciated how the festival brings a message of peace in the city. “It shows the extent of bonds among the civil society here,” he said. Coca Cola Pakistan will also set up a Coca Cola Book Bank, where visitors will be able to donate books that will be handed over to The Citizens Foundation, stated Coca Cola Export Corporation’s general manager Rizwan Khan, whose message was read out during the news conference.
Some of the shortlisted books for the non-fiction category include The Army and Democracy: Military Politics in Pakistan by Aqil Shah and Language, Gender and Power: The Politics of Representation and Hegemony in South Asia by Shahid Siddiqui.