"He was Pakistan's greatest literary treasure," said OUP Managing Director and KLF founder/director Ameena Saiyid, while KLF founder Asif Farrukhi summarised Intizar sahab's significance thus:
"Intizar Hussain had become the father of all literature festivals."
'Agay Samandar Hai: In conversation with Intizar Husain' has been converted into a tribute session, where his friends and fellow writers will share their memories of the legend.
The welcome address was followed by speeches of the festival sponsors:
Dance performances began with Amna Mawaz Khan taking the stage first:
And Mani Chao's dance troupe followed, rounding off the performances with a strong finish:
In the awards section of the opening ceremony, the first award to be given out was the KLF-Embassy of France Best Fiction Prize. It was awarded to Aamer Hussein for '37 Bridges and Other Stories'.
Before you head out, here's a couple of more things worth knowing:
Foodie lit-lovers should be happy to know that "the food court will be bigger than last year's".
According to Ameena Saiyid, the usual vendors like Domino's Pizza, Hanifia Burgers, Espresso and Biryani of the Seas will be present, as will the popularchaatwala Pappu Chaat, "who's a hit at every OUP event."
Here's a quick first look at the food court - we're glad ot know Lipton's pledged to keep us well-supplied with cups of tea!
For those curious, the Spoonful guys - who made last year's hit strawberry samosas, will be a no-show this year.
This year, OUP has booked two parking spaces - the UBL parking space and the KPT parking area - for the visitors of Karachi Literature Festival. And they've introduced a new way to keep the main road a vehicle-free zone:
"We will have a shuttle running from the two designated parking areas to Beach Luxury Hotel, so people who drive themselves will have to park in either of the two designated parking areas, and then take the shuttle to the venue," said Saiyed.