Bushra Ansari at 2017 KLF
Bushra Ansari at 2017 KLF

'Tis the season of literature festivals!

Following on the heels of LLF this past weekend, the eleventh edition of the three-day Karachi Literature Festival (KLF) is all set to begin on 28 February at the Beach Luxury Hotel.

KLF opens its gates to guests at 4.30 p.m. and will begin with speeches by the organisers and Chief guest, Shafqat Mehmood, Federal Minister for Education and Professional Training. Though the schedule for the first day includes keynote speeches and a tribute kathak performance, in addition to other engaging panel discussions, the festivities will really get going on Saturday, when talks will begin at 11 a.m. with a lot more sessions to choose from.

The full schedule for KLF can be found here.

If your schedule doesn't allow you to spend the whole day at KLF, here are some highlights you shouldn't miss out on. Read below:


The story of Qawwali

Who: A Talk by Ally Adnan and performance by Ghayoor-Moiz-Mustafa Qawwal, Farid Ayaz and Abu Mohammad

Where: Main Garden

When: 7.00 p.m. to 9.00 p.m.

Why: No doubt Qawwali is one of the oldest performing art forms in the sub-continent, but more than tracing its origins and evolution, we're more excited about the performances!

Women Of Substance: Fatima Jinnah, Benazir Bhutto, And Asma Jahangir

Who: Victoria Schofield, Navid Shahzad, Karamat Ali, and Shehla Raza —moderated by Fouzia Saeed

Where: Room 007

When: 7.00 p.m. - 8.00 p.m.

Why: With the Aurat Azadi March just around the corner, it's important to remember the 'sheroes' who've built the foundations of change for women's rights in the country.


Aurton Kay Takhleeqi Shaoor Say Inkaar Kyun?

Who: Zehra Nigah and Arfa Sayeda Zehra in conversation

Where: Main Garden

When: 12.15 p.m. - 1.15 p.m.

Why: We never tire of these two strong women taking the stage and doing a take down in their own way.

The Political Character Of Pakistani Middle Class

Who: Asad Sayeed, Ghazi Salahuddin, and Huma Baqai — moderated by Yasir Qazi

Where: Tulip

When: 12.15 p.m. - 1.15 p.m.

Why:In the last decade, middle-class politics have spurred a radical transformation in our society, and we want to know what this change is and how it came about.

Stage And Teleplay Shaping Society

Who: Kaif Ghaznavi, Khaled Anam, Bee Gul, Haseena Moin, and Sanam Saeed — moderated by Ahmed Shah

Where: Main Garden

When: 4.45 p.m. - 5.45 p.m.

Why: The after-effects of Meray Paas Tum Ho can still be felt. But the question to ask is: is art inspired by reality or is reality shaped by art?

Day 3

Student politics in Pakistan: Back to the future

Who: Arooj Aurangzeb, Faisal Sabzwari, Azhar Abbas, Khalid Amin and Naghma Iqtidar —moderated by Nadeem Farooq Paracha

Where: Aquarius

When: 12.15 p.m. - 1.15 p.m.

Why:Last year, the Student Solidarity March presented a charter of demands that included the restoration of student unions and better education facilities.

We're looking forward to hearing student activist Arooj Aurangzeb's views about grass-root level activism of students and the challenges they face.

Kashmir: The paradise lost

Who: Victoria Schofield, Athar Abbas, Mushaal Hussein Mullick, and Sardar Masood Khan — moderated by Khalid Banuri

Where: Aquarius

When: 3.30 p.m. - 4.30 p.m.

Why:Recently, schools in Indian Occupied Kashmir were re-opened after a six-month strict curfew. How has life changed? What does Kashmiri society look like now? But more importantly, what does the future hold?

We're interested in Mushaal Hussein Mullick's, wife of Kashmiri separatist leader Yasin Mullick, perspective on the current situation in the region.

Media crisis: Who is responsible?

Who: Azhar Abbas, Mubashir Zaidi, Owaid Tohid, Sabrina Toppa — moderated by Ayesha Tammy Haq

Where: Aquarius

When: 4.45 p.m. to 5.45 p.m.

Why:Making sense of the current media landscape news organisations, and its audiences, find themselves in is essential to making sense of the future of journalism in the country.

Pakistani cinema in the twenty-first century

Who: Fasih Bari Khan, Saqib Malik, Faysal Qureshi, Sheheryar Munawar Siddiqui, Bee Gul, Adnan Siddiqui and Sangeeta Rizvi — moderated by Ally Adnan

Where: Main Garden

When: 3.30 p.m. - 4.30 p.m.

Why:Are we witnessing a revival of Pakistani cinema? We can't wait to find out.

Maa Jai: Song of love and peace

Who: Neelam Ahmed Basheer, Asma Abbas and Bushra Ansari — moderated by Faseeh Bari Khan

Where: Main Garden

When: 2.15 p.m. to 3.15 p.m.

Why: You know these witty ladies will have your attention from the moment they sit on the panel.

Punching up: Young comedians redefining satire

Who: Faiza Saleem, Shehzad Ghias Shaikh, Ali Gul Pir, Natalia Gul, and Gul Zeb Shakeel — moderated by Hamna Zubair

Where: Main Garden

When: 4.45 p.m. to 5.45 p.m.

Why: How have the new lot of comedians shed light on current events, handled their platform and raised their voices? We shall find out.

Financial inclusion and women empowerment

Who: Reza Baqir, Asad Umer, Ayesha Aziz, Ishrat Husain and Muhammad Aurangzeb — moderated by Rashid Masood Alam

Where: Jasmine

When: 2.15 p.m. to 3.15 p.m.

Why: Sadly, conversations regarding women empowerment are more often given to male panellists, and this session was no different. Luckily, the backlash on Twitter forced the KLF management to reevaluate their 'manel'— by bringing in one token female.

Regardless, this is an important conversation to be had. We hope women in the audience are given the platform to question and air their views as freely as men on panels do.