11 quotes that we won't forget from KLF 2018

Updated Feb 12, 2018 01:59pm

The ninth Karachi Literature Festival came to a close on Sunday evening, and it's been a whirlwind three days of exciting ideas and beautiful performances.

While we can't say that every session was as stimulating as we hoped, there were many times when speakers inspired us, amused us or just had us nodding vigorously in agreement.

Here are all the times when we reached for our notepads:

When the Indian High Commissioner helped remind everyone of what our priorities should be

In his opening address, Indian High Commissioner Ajay Bisaria said, "Our common enemies are poverty, illiteracy and disease, not each other."

When Azra Abbas emphasised that it's totally okay to go solo on your feminist journey

In the session 'The Power of the Individual Story: Pakistani Women's Autobiography', poet Azra Abbas shared an exchange she once had:

"Someone asked 'how can we take men along on this feminist journey?' ‬

‪I replied: is that even necessary?‬

‪And I say, if you can't complete your journey without somebody else's help, is that the right journey?"‬

When Kesho Scott broke down what 'the personal is political' really means

"We say the personal is political, but we neglect to realise that this means to create wider change in society you have to change YOURSELF," said Scott at 'The Power of the Individual Story: Pakistani Women's Autobiography'.

When Noor-ul-Huda Shah called for an end to Sindh's ethnic divides

Answering an audience member's query about how we can unite Sindhi and Urdu speakers, writer Shah said, "I seek to eradicate those differences through my work. Urdu and Sindhi are both my languages. In India (from where Urdu speakers hail), Urdu is plagued by problems but it is blossoming in Sindh. In these 70 years (of Pakistan), we've seen our first generation go and the second, third and fourth generations remain. We all have to move forward and embrace one another."

When Bushra Ansari lamented that religion is still a no-go in everyday discourse

Despite playing characters of different faiths in the recent past, actor Bushra Ansari still feels that having a conversation about religion is almost impossible in Pakistan: "Forget discussing other religions, we cannot even talk about our own religion without killing each other."

When poet José Oliver declared that Pakistan has made him a smuggler of smiles

Speaking briefly about his experience in Pakistan, Spanish-German poet José Oliver said, "In Pakistan, I have seen many smiles. On the border, if I'm asked if I have anything to declare, I will say, 'Yes, I think I brought back too many smiles from Pakistan' and will see what they have to say. They'll call me a smile smuggler!"

When Asif Raza Mir insisted that nepotism can't work in the Pakistani entertainment industry

While taking questions at the 'Generations and Genres' session, famed producer/actor Asif Raza Mir said, "This is the one profession where the concept of parchi doesn’t work; if it did, Abhishek Bachchan would be a superstar. It’s simply survival of the fittest.”

When Aurelie Salvaire reminded everyone of the far-reaching consequences of gender inequality

"Having gender equality would boost the Pakistani economy. Even if you don't believe in human rights, do it for your own pocket," quipped social entrepreneur Aurelie Salvaire at the 'MeToo: Gender Issues Today' session.

When Amir Adnan made the case for entrepreneurship over jobs

During the 'Entrepreneurship Today' session, designer Amir Adnan said, “Pakistan is a developing country so we need people creating more jobs, not more people lining up looking for jobs.”

When Zarrar Khuhro pointed out that social media's given intolerance a platform

"People say there was a time when people were intolerant. That's not true at all! People have always been intolerant, you just hear them a lot more now," said journalist Khuhro about the digital age and Twitter trolls during 'Reality Catches Up with Satire' session.

When Asad Sayeed reminded us of the need to keep nationalist sentiments out of trade matters

"Countries trade, you don't have to love each other to trade. It'll be beneficial for both countries," said the economist while speaking about trade relations between India and Pakistan during the 'Love Thy Neighbour? Pak-Ind Relations' session.


Who was your favourite speaker at KLF 2018? Let us know in your comments below.

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