LAHORE: As another blast sent shockwaves through the provincial capital, the 5th Lahore Literary Festival was postponed by a day and would now start on Saturday (tomorrow) at the Avari Hotel
Initially, the festival was to be held at Alhamra on February 24.
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“In deference to recent events, the festival has been scaled down from three days to two and limited to lectures and discussions,” said Razi Ahmed, founder and CEO of LLF. “We remain grateful to the Punjab government and the people of Lahore who have wholly embraced the festival since its founding in 2013.”
Till earlier on Thursday, neither organisers nor government authorities could confirm if the festival is going to go ahead as planned for February 24 (today).
By Wednesday evening, Nuscie Jamil, one of the board members, asserted the festival will begin as planned at Alhamra and a complete schedule will be announced shortly.
However, on Thursday afternoon, Jamil said organisers were still waiting for government authorities to give a green light with regards to the security situation.
On the contrary, Shiraz Ahmed, a telephone operator at the LLF office, confirmed the festival had been delayed and no new dates were announced as of yet.
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On the other hand, Deputy Commissioner’s Public Relations Officer Imran Maqbool said the no objection certificate to conduct the festival had not been revoked. This statement passes the buck to relevant security officials and the LLF to decide whether they can provide ample security for the public at the venue.
Likewise, Alhamra Art Council’s PRO Subha Sadiq remained unsure of the status and told The Express Tribune nothing had been clarified thus far.
Published in The Express Tribune, February 24th, 2017.