LAHORE: The second day of the Lahore Literary Festival (LLF) commenced Saturday with five different sessions, including “Equity and Happiness” in partnership with UNDP Pakistan, a book discussion, “Kahani Ek Sheher Ki”, “Punjabi Lok Geet” and “A City in Fiction” besides book launches and discussions being held at the Alhamra Arts Council.
During the session titled “Equity and Happiness”, Akhuwat founder Dr Amjad Saquib was of the view that poverty was a multileveled occurrence and not just about a shortage of money. Water Law and Policy expert Erum Sattar and economist Hafiz Pasha also addressed the seminar.
Meanwhile, a book discussion continued at Hall 2 of Alhamra where Owen Bennett-Jones along with author Nasim Zehra discussed the book “From Kargil to the Coup: Events that shook Pakistan”.
During the session, Jones said that one of the things he remembered about the operation was that “nobody was stopping it”. “Is it possible that PM Vajpayee understood the situation better than Nawaz Sharif?” he asked.
“Kahani Ek Shehr Ki” was discussed in Hall 3 where Adeela Suleman, Naazish Ataullah and Ambereen Karamat spoke to moderator Rabeya Jalil and expressed their views on the life and works of Lahore-based artist Farida Batool.
In another session, “A City in Fiction”, Muneeza Shamsie, Roopa Farooki and Osama Siddique discussed the city of Lahore and its history. During the session, Muneeza Shamsie said, “There is a lot of diversity and dynamism in Lahore which is the pride of the country. People of the Old City preserve their own areas, the heritage and vibrancy. It’s an exceptional city which has to be cherished.”
At noon, Sanam Meher’s book “A Woman Like Her” was launched. The author was accompanied by Amar Sindhu, Ammara Athar and moderator Salima Hashmi. The book is based on the murder of model Qandeel Baloch, which the author argues is the story of several other girls in the country.
Another session on the Great War, Ottomans and Turkey titled “Channeling Nostalgia” was conducted by Eugene Rogan with Ahmed Rashid.
Literature and Sufism in Khyber Pakhtunkhwa (KP) was discussed by Dr Shahida Shah, Neelum Afridi, Akbar Hoti and Ibrar Ghar along with moderator Kainat Khan and the session was held in respect of Hamza Shinwari.
A discussion on “Iran: Legends of Emperors and Kings” was also held, in which Zehra Nigah introduced author Iftikhar Salahuddin.
Journalists Rania Abouzeid, Lalage Snow and Osama bin Javaid with moderator Secunder Kermani discussed the “Unravelling of a Cultural Haven in the Middle East”.
“Exploring the Political and Social Consciousness in Urdu Fiction and Poetry” was also held beside the launching of “Tell Her Everything” where Zarrar Saeed joined award-winning novelist Mirza Waheed.
“My Lahore Session” carried away the people of Lahore and it was conducted by Parveen Kennedy with Nayyar Ali Dada. The session was about the past and present of the cultural capital of Pakistan.
Hameed Haroon conducted a conversation with Ayesha Jalal on “Between Remembrance and Forgetting: History as Freedom” in which Ayesha Jalal explained the audience how she got interested in history.
“Jadeed Shayeri Ke Ufaqwas” conducted by Abbas Tabish, Ahmad Ata and Adnan Baig showcased the talent from Urdu’s contemporary poetry with moderator Shakeel Jazib.
Another book launch “Hijabistan” was held where author Sabyn Javeri discussed her book with Maha Khan Phillips. “Back to the Future” was addressed by Pankaj Mishra with Mohsin Hamid.
An interesting session was “Music and the Mughal Twilight, from Aurangzeb to Bahadur Shah Zafar” which was conducted by Katherine Schofield and musician Rakae Jamil.
The book launch for “The Selected Works of Abdullah the Cossack” was also held by author H M Naqvi, Christopher Merrill with moderator Nasreen Rehman.