All our coverage from the Adab Festival 2020


The Adab Festival 2020 is being held in Karachi this weekend (January 31 to February 2) and is covering a host of topics, from violence against women, mental health, student movements and foreign policy.

We’ll be compiling all our coverage of the festival in this story so you’ll be able to read about most of the sessions.

Former Pakistani foreign minister Hina Rabbani Khar, academic Pervez Hoodbhoy and one of the country’s most prominent diplomats Najammuddin Sheikh highlighted the problems in Pakistan’s narrative during their session. To read more, click here.

The HEC deliberately fuels admissions in private institutes compared to public universities and colleges, because it wants to earn higher profits, said Asghar Dashti, a panelist in a session on challenges facing the youth. He was joined by activist Fawad Hasan, student activist Zahabia Khuzema and Sindhu Nawaz, head of the Sindh Youth Action Committee. To read more, click here.

A session on mental health called for audience members to ask the panelists anything. Psychotherapist Dr Humair Yusuf, psychiatrist Dr Shameel Khan and therapist Zehra Moinuddin discussed the ins and outs of psychiatric treatment in Pakistan. To read more, click here.

Medical practitioners discussed what happens when doctors bring their personal problems and views into hospitals and clinics. Gynaecologist Dr Sadiah Ahsan Pal and SAMAA FM radio host Syed Adeel Azhar were among the panelists. To read more, click here.

Many people aren’t aware that raping your wife isn’t allowed under Pakistan’s laws. Maliha Zia Lari, the associate director of the Legal Aid Society, was one of the panelists at a session on violence against women. To read more, click here.

Former chief justice of Pakistan, Justice (retd) Asif Saeed Khosa said in his keynote address that as a fan of literature, he tried to bring some poetry and prose into his 56,000 judgments over the past 22 years. To read more, click here.

Former ambassador Maleeha Lodhi also gave a keynote speech, in which she said soft power and quick diplomacy is what we need. To read more, click here.

Author and policeman Omar Shahid Hamid, chief selector of the women’s cricket team Urooj Mumtaz Khan and veteran commentator Qamar Ahmed spoke about spot fixing and corruption in women’s cricket. To read more, click here.

Novelists and scholars spoke about the absence of representation of farmers and rural life in Urdu and English literature. Novelist and environmentalist Masood Ahmed Lohar claimed that Urdu literary circles were intentionally excluding Sindhi literature. To read more, click here.

A session titled ‘Is The Top 1% (Elite) The Problem in Pakistan’ discussed the economic system and how it has been designed to perpetuate elitism. Panellists argued that this has, therefore, institutionalised the belief that every economic or political activity can only benefit the elite. To read more, click here.

Media mogul Zafar Siddiqi’s book on the age of digital and streaming was launched. Its called TV News 3.0. To read more, click here.

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