Literary festival shows people want peace

WITH improved law and order and security situation, the country’s literary landscape is also seeing a revival with packed festivals attracting tens of thousands in a rock concert like atmosphere. Three day Islamabad Literature Festival concluded on Sunday was a resounding success which depicted that the people of Pakistan including young generation, women, students and scholars have a lot of vitality and zing in them, and that they desire peace to have many more such enriching activities.
Earlier in the year, the festivals were also held in Karachi and Lahore with thousands of people thronging them to meet their favourite literary figures and take advantage of their deep knowledge. The successful conduct of these gatherings has also helped in a way reclaiming the cultural space that had shrunk significantly in recent years amidst raging acts of terrorism. This year’s iteration of the ILF deserves praise for an excellent line up of litterateurs, academics and cultural personalities as was also witnessed in the festivals held in Karachi and Lahore. One can hope that the organizers of these festivals will bring more colour and diversity in future as well in order to showcase the true face of the country before the world. Nobody can deny the significance of such events as besides depicting the art and culture of the country, these gatherings bring writers together, and also bring together people who are interested in reading and writing books. When this blend of people shares their ideas and thoughts, it leads to creation of innovative ideas and to open mindedness and a mind which is also more tolerant because one hears and tolerates different views and different perspectives. Hence, there is need to hold such festivals in other cities as well to promote the tolerant face of society. It is also important to reflect to wider world that we are not a country which is closing its doors but opening space that will allow us avenues for free thought and critical inquiry. Therefore, our foreign missions should also be forth coming in organising such festivals in order to acquaint world about rich cultural heritage of Pakistan and tremendous work done by our writers in their respective domains.

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