The two-day Karachi Literary Festival, organised by the British Council and the Oxford University Press (Pakistan) ended Sunday with a host of literary and cultural activities, featuring authors like Musharraf Ali Farooqi, Zulfikar Ghose, Husain Naqvi and Mohsin Hamid.
Comprising of tributes, readings, book launches and discussions, the festival was well attended by literary buffs, students, writers and the general public. One of the highlights of the day was the launch of 50 Poems: 30 Selected 20 New by the critically acclaimed author Zulfikar Ghose. A panel discussion on Sufism and Literature brought together Samina Quraeshi, Amar Jaleel and Mahmood Jamal. While Quraeshi read an excerpt from her recent book, Jamal read a poem directed at fundamentalists of all kinds while commenting that Sufism was not a deviant cult as many perceived it to be.
In the end, many in the audience were left frustrated as an interesting question by a student about the role of Shariah in the context of Sufism went unanswered and was cleverly deflected under the garb of sophisticated expression. Ameena Saiyid, Managing Director of the Oxford University Press and Journalist Asif Noorani talked about what makes a best seller in Pakistan in an interactive session titled “From Manuscript to Bestseller”.
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