Lahore Literary Festival attracts people

LAHORE:25 Feb: The seventh edition of three-day Lahore Literary Festival concluded at Alhamra here on Sunday night. A galaxy of writers, politicians, artists and people belonging to showbiz including Ayesha Jalal, Khaled Ahmed, Saleema Hashmi, Ahmed Rashid, Surayya Multinakr, Rahat Multanikar, Sarvat Hasin, Kamin Mohammadi, Zarrar Said, Omar Khan, Shadab Zeest Hashmi, Aisha Farooqui, Ayesha Baqir, Lalage Snow, Tahmina Aziz Ayub, Isambard Wilkinson, Ayesha Khan, Maheen Usmani, Harris Khalique and others graced various sessions of the event and received huge applause from the audience. The event was attended by a large number of people from various sections of society, especially literature enthusiasts, students, lawyers, intellectuals, etc. People took keen interest in the session to launch the new book by the granddaughter of former Prime Minister ZA Bhutto, Fatima Bhutto. Speaking on the occasion, she said: “I have never seen peace in Pakistan for the last 36 years. Peace is the need of the hour. I don’t want to see any Pakistani or Indian soldier die.” She said she did not see any danger to Pakistan and added that the country was much greater and stronger and did not need any intervention. She recalled that last time she was in Lahore and writing a piece on Amritsar. “When I crossed Wagah into Indian Punjab, I saw the same wheat fields there, and it was profoundly upsetting.” She said, "Politics is not only about involving in political process or political parties, rather there are many other ways to involve in political process.” She said, “Everything is political. How you move through the world, how you meet people. I consider myself quite political despite that I don’t indulge in politics in the prevailing fashion". She said Pakistanis were brave enough to counter threats and strongly believed in struggle whatever the situation might by. She added, “I think there's always been incredible bravery and struggle in this country.” She recalled her slain father rather emotionally and said her father was her friend and great companion. He had guided her all his life and never tried to enforce anything on children. Recalling the wishes of her father, Fatima Bhutto said, "My father wanted me to join foreign services like my grandfather, but he never forced me to do anything, though he expressed his wishes indirectly". Veteran classical singer of old days, Surayya Multanikar, and her no less acclaimed daughter Rahat Multaniker, mesmerised the audience during the session titled ‘Celebrating fold songs and Ghazals from Multan and southern Punjab’. The Sitara-e-Imtiaz awarded singer known for her unique style and captivating voice presented her trade mark Ghazal “Barray Be Murawwat Hein Yeh Husn Waley” which brought several people from the audience into their 50’s and 60’s on their feet and clapping with every rhythm. Later, he rendered the old national anthem of Bahawalpur state, “Allah Aan Wasey Si Sadiyan Jhokan koon” along with her daughter Rahat Multaniker, which made the entire hall sang along with them. Surayya recalled the high standards of learning the art of music and singing in the olden times. She told the audience the tough efforts she had to put in while emerging as a singer and struggling to meet the tough requirements of radio and television studios of the beginning years. She was of the view that nowadays reputed singers are not imparting the knowledge of the art of singing to the newcomers. During the session, “Asma Lives”, renowned workers of Human Rights, paid rich tributes to icon of Human Rights struggle in the country, Asma Jahangir, for her courageous struggle for realising basic rights for women, minorities and children in the country. The panellists including IA Rahman, Nida Ali, Seema Iftikhar, Gul Rukh Rahman and Fareeda Shaheed, recalled several incidents where Asma fought like a warrior against the oppressor forces to realise the fundamental rights for the oppressed classes. “She never cared for any taunts, labels and threats she received in the way. She never wasted time in useless debates. She was quick to act for her objectives whatever the circumstances may be,” the panellists recalled about her. Nida Ali vowed to take forward the legacy of Asma Jahangir as it was the moral obligation of all those who had worked with her. At the end of festival, noted classic dancer Sheema Kirmani displayed her skills by rendering a dance that captivated the audience.The news.

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