Karachi Literature Festival 2012:
Karachi, Feb 13: The two-day Karachi Literature Festival came to an end on a highly vibrant and encouraging note on Sunday with, according to the organisers, around 15,000 people of all age groups and diverse social and cultural backgrounds, visiting the function.
Visitors were seen streaming in round the clock. In fact it became a real dilemma for the organisers as the rooms and the halls just did not have the capacity to accommodate so many visitors and many, who came with high hopes of listening to speakers and discussions of their choice, had to either return disappointed or just stand outside the rooms.
On Sunday, the second day of the festival, the organisers, to some extent solved the problem by fixing a giant video screen outside the biggest venue, the Ballroom, and a large number for whom there was no room left in the room, were seen crowding around the video screen and monitoring the proceedings inside. The hotel lobby was jam-packed.
There were dozens of authors from the Pakistani diaspora who have made a mark for themselves in the field of authorship and literature in their adopted countries, most notable among them being Ayesha Jalal, an internationally-acclaimed historian and author, presently teaching at Tufts University, Boston, USA; and Hanif Kureishi, the Pakistan-origin London-based writer and playwright whose plays have been hits the world over.
Sunday, the closing day of the festival featured some highly intellectually invigorating and socially productive panel discussions. Among these, there was a discussion titled, "The emergence of Bangladesh: a military failure or the collapse of civil society", based on Sarmila Bose's book on the subject. It was a soul-searching expose of the circumstances that led to the December 1971 tragedy. Brigadier (retd) AR Siddiqui, came up with an objective analysis highlighting the political events in the period intervening from the general elections of December 1970 and the fall of Dhaka. So did noted journalist Khalid Ahmed, even though their views were divergent. The session saw some emotional exchanges when the discussion was thrown open to the gathering for questions and answers with some vehemently defending the Pakistani position in the conflict and others highlighting the blunders by the then government of Pakistan.
Then there was a discussion on literary criticism and Urdu classics. These were just some of the many discussions held on various literary subjects and social issues.
The festival finally came to an end with an interactive dialogue between Susan Nicklin, Director, Literature, of British Council, London, and Hanif Kureishi.
Kureishi, in reply to Nicklin's question, said that his visit to Karachi and to the festival was a source of pleasure as he had seen for himself the desire and the urgency among the people of Pakistan, especially the young folk, to speak out unfettered about their country and other countries vis-à-vis Pakistan.
"We all know that politicians are a dishonest lot of people", he said, adding, "So one place where people can speak their minds out and vent their grievances against politicians are stories, and it is so nice to know that Pakistan is teeming with young highly promising writers. He said the effects of writing may not manifest themselves immediately and quoted the example of Charles Dickens, about whom he said, people just didn't bother because they weren't even aware of what he was trying to put forth, but it was generations later that Dickens' writings brought about revolutionary changes in society. Writers, he said, tell you of what's going on in your neighbourhood.
"No writer exists on his own. He has to bank on what others say and feel. That is how culture develops", he said.
Martin Fryer, Director, Programmes, of British Council, said that these two days had turned out to be highly fruitful and lauded the work done by the OUP and his team at the British Council in organising such a successful event.
Ameena Saiyid, Managing Director of the Oxford University Press (Pakistan), thanked the British Council for their cooperation without which, she said holding such a mega event could not have been possible.
She said that the festival was meant to showcase the tremendous store of talent in the country. She said that entry to the festival would continue to be free and announced that next year onwards, it would be a three-day festival. She also thanked her team immensely for their hard work in making the event a success and had special words of praise for Zehra Naseem and Raheela Baqai of the Oxford University Press.
Dr Asif Aslam Farrukhi, lauded the work done by the OUP and the British Council and said that the event, by all accounts was a resounding success. The closing speeches were followed by a musical programme by Salman Ahmed and his ensemble, Junoon.
The proceedings of the closing ceremony were conducted by Mahshud Rizvi, Director British Council in Sindh and Balochistan. The news
KU teachers vow to continue protest
Karachi: The Karachi University Teachers Association (Kuts) has announced that it will continue a boycott of classes on Monday against the recent suspension and sacking of Sindh University teachers for their participation in a protest against murder of their colleague, Prof Bashir Ahmed Channar.
Classes at Karachi University were suspended on Saturday in line with the Kuts' boycott call.
Kuts president Prof Mutahir Ahmed said a rally would be held in front of the KU administration block to denounce the Sindh education minister's 'uncalled for remarks' against the protesting teachers. Dawn
SSC practical exams before theory papers
Karachi: The Board of Secondary Education Karachi (BSEK) has decided to conduct the Secondary School Certificate practical examination-2012 from March 1 to 19.
According to BSEK controller of examinations Rafia Mallah, the decision to hold the practical exam prior to the theory papers was taken in the light of the Sindh education department steering committee's recommendations.
She said that the admit cards would be issued to the candidates' educational institutions concerned from Feb 22 to 27.
Malakand University BA/BSc exam schedule
Peshawar: The University of Malakand has invited applications for BA and BSc Part-I & II regular, late college and private candidates on prescribed examination admission forms available on the university website www.uom.edu.pk, at all branches of Allied Bank Limited in Malakand Division, NBP University Campus (Malakand University) and Habib Bank Limited Chakdarra branch free of cost.
The examination is tentatively scheduled to be held in the last week of May.
Application forms can be submitted with normal fee up to February 28, with late fee Rs100 up to March 6, with double fee up to March 13 and with triple fee up to March 21.
Examination is tentatively scheduled to be held in the third week of February while application forms can be submitted with double fee up to February 13. The news
Uniform syllabus in KP in four months: minister
Kohat: Provincial Minister for Education Sardar Hussain Babak has said that a uniform syllabus in mother tongue would be introduced throughout the province within four months.
Speaking at a ceremony at Ustarzai village here on Sunday, he said that the government wanted to spread education by establishing more schools and colleges in the province.
He also said that the government would provide free education and books to the students.
He said that the Awami National Party was against terrorism and vowed to restore peace in the province.
Senator Abdul Nabi Bangash said that the ANP was a secular party, which did not believe in hatred on the basis of religion and language.
He stressed that religious harmony was imperative for the survival of the country.
He claimed that gas and schools would soon be provided to the Ustarzai area.
Later, former chief justice of the Peshawar High Court, Syed Ibne Ali, announced to join the ANP. Dawn
UoP student distinction
Peshawar: Reena Shaheed Soherwordi secured first position among the private candidates of the University of Peshawar (UoP) MA in political science final year examination.
Mrs Soherwordi, 26, wife of Hussain Shaheed Soherwordi, lecturer at the Department of International Relations (IR), UoP, obtained 752 out of the total 1,100 marks to clinch the top position.
She had also stood first in her Bachelor of Arts (BA) examination in which she had also appeared as a private candidate. She had topped the Board of Intermediate and Secondary Education, Peshawar, in the Secondary School Certificate examination that she had taken as student of the Forward Public School, Hayatabad Peshawar.
She said she intended to apply for the Fulbright scholarship to acquire higher education. She said she took inspiration from her husband who completed his MS and PhD from the University of Edinburgh and returned to teach at the Department of International Relations, UoP.
She said that hard work was the only key to her success and the people of the province should believe in hard work. "The current generation should not be disheartened by the prevailing situation in the country. This is the time to excel and set an example that Pakhtuns can work in any odd circumstances," she said.
Reena Soherwordi wants to do her PhD research on 'The Application of Orientalism and Structuralism during the War on Terror in Khyber-Pakhtunkhwa: 2001-2012'. The news