Look beyond India for Karachi Literature Festival: Pakistani daily

Last Updated: Feb 20, 2013, 09:19 AM IST

Islamabad: The Karachi Literature Festival may be better served by reaching out more to authors, writers and performers from beyond India, said a leading daily Tuesday.

An editorial in the Dawn said that missing this year was a strong international contingent of writers.

"Perhaps this has to do with an over-reliance on star-power from across the border, always a risky proposition because Pakistan-India ties get disrupted frequently enough and this makes for many a no-show.

"Going forward, the KLF may be better served by reaching out more to authors, writers and performers from beyond India," it said.

The daily said that perhaps it speaks of the condition of the once glorious city by the sea that the Karachi Literature Festival is celebrated more for what it represents than what it does.

"The mere fact that a demoralised Karachi can be in the news for positive reasons, even if only for a weekend each spring, is seen as a boost for its beleaguered denizens."

The editorial said that the festival has now crawled out of its infancy.

"From a purely literary point of view, this year`s event was somewhat of a letdown. Local literary stars were assembled in strength once again and trotted out in many sessions but there is a growing sense of familiarity about them. After all, pick up a newspaper, flip through a magazine or attend any civil society gathering and one or more of them is present," it added.

The daily was also disappointed with the tendency towards "the overtly and purely political".

"Given the region that Pakistan exists in and the existential questions being asked about this country`s future, politics is never far from the surface - and can never be really - but the KLF is perhaps one venue better anchored in the literary than in geopolitics," it noted.