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KLF ends on a sad note with tributes to Asma Jahangir, Qazi Wajid

KARACHI: Two national icons – valiant human rights lawyer Asma Jahangir and renowned actor Qazi Wajid – bade a sad farewell to the nation on Sunday.

The three-day Karachi Literature Festival (KLF) ended on a somber note as speakers at the closing ceremony expressed condolences and paid tributes to the departed souls.

Ameena Saiyid, the founder of KLF and managing director of Oxford University Press, condoled the death of Asma Jahangir and Qazi Wajid.

She said the country has lost a fearless and a true democrat as well as a towering personality, who fought for the cause of the marginalized people.

Saiyid said Pakistan has also lost a versatile actor.

Human Rights Commission of Pakistan (HRCP) Director I.A. Rehman said Asma bravely faced dictators.

He lauded her services to downtrodden and poor people as well as women and minorities.

KLF co-founder Dr Asif Farrukhi condoled the sudden demise of Asma.

While speaking about the festival, he said he felt rejuvenated with each festival. The literature festival was a chance to reclaim the space for writers, poets, thinkers and intellectuals.

Highlighting how important books are in distilling opinion and ideas, Farrukhi said books gives us food for thoughts, ideas and critical thinking.

“We need to connect with them time and again.”

Poet Kishwar Nahed recited a poem in memory of Asma Jahangir and recalled fond memories of their joint struggle against dictatorship.

Former Indian diplomat Mani Shankar Aiyar talked about the need for friendly ties between India and Pakistan, saying he was interested in good relations with Pakistan, which was necessary for the millions of Indian Muslim.

He said hostility between two countries was no solution to the problems of the people of the subcontinent.

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