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Thousands of literature lovers thronged the ongoing 5th Islamabad Literature Festival (ILF) on its second day marking remarkable success for a large number of interactive sessions, dialogues, performances and literary activities here at a local hotel.

The residents of twin cities portrayed their love not only for literature but for the literary icons belonging to different countries of the world by visiting capital’s very own Islamabad Literature Festival.

On second day of ILF, Fasi Zaka moderated a session “Preparing the Citizens of Tomorrow:  Are we Succeeding or Failing?” The session was held to critique the current education provision in Pakistan. Featuring participants like Shahnaz Wazir Ali, Nadia Naviwala, Shahid Siddiqui, and Ishrat Husain. Reema Abbasi moderated a session Lost Heritage: The Sikh Legacy in Pakistan, a nostalgic search for historic monuments and temples eroded by time which included the author  Amardeep Singh and FS Aijazuddin.

To discuss the core issue of water, a special session “Where has all the Water gone? Experts and concerned citizens debate the water crisis in Pakistan” was held in which Nisar A. Memon, Kaiser Bengali, and Aaron Mulvany discussed the issue with moderator Rina Saeed Khan. A Performance by Nimra Bucha and Sarmad Khoosat on readings from Amrita Pritam and Sahir Ludhianvi’s poetry focusing on their unique vision and elusive, unspoken romance was also featured on the second day of ILF.

“Gender Violence, Law, and Power in Pakistan focusing on feminists’ struggle for justice and equal rights” was held in which Nafisa Shah, Sherry Rehman, and Ijaz Shafi Gilani participated with moderator Samar Minallah Khan. ‘Rail Kahaani’ was presented by Zambeel Dramatic Readings based on short stories on railway journeys written by different authors. These were presented by Shama Askari, Asma Mundrawala, Saife Hasan, and Fawad Khan. Qasim Yaqoob moderated a session ‘Mohabbat aur Dehshat Gardi: Aaj ka Urdu Adab’ which was participated by Hameed Shahid, Irfan Urfi, and Ravish Nadim. A special session on poetry of Iftikhar Arif was also held in which Iftikhar Arif had a detailed conversation with Harris Khalique and Asif Farrukhi while the session was chaired by Zehra Nigah.

To discuss the women’s issues in politics, AWAZ program presented a special session “Women and Excluded Groups in Political Parties and Legislative Bodies” in which Marvi Sirmed, Zafarullah Khan, and Bushra Gohar participated along with the moderator Shirin Gul.

A session “English Poetry: The International Muse” was also featured on second day which included Blaine Marchand, Harris Khalique, Waqas Khwaja, Azka Khan, and Orooj e Zafar while the session was moderated by Ilona Yusuf. Several new books including ‘Pakistan ki Tehzeeb o Saqafat’ by Kishwar Naheed, ‘Hybrid Tapestries: The Development of Pakistani Literature in English’ by Muneeza Shamsie, ‘Learning to Live with the Bomb: Pakistan: 1998–2016’ by Naeem Salik and others were also launched.


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