Organisers of the Lahore Literary Festival (LLF) — an international literary festival held annually in Lahore — have responded to claims of blocking over Twitter the academics and journalists who “criticised” or “contradicted” the event due Friday (February 21).

“No amount of education [or] money can evolve these illiberal liberals, so rich and entitled that they cannot stand the idea of anyone contradicting them. Kingmakers basically because they have money and clout (and enough alcohol to ply all of Lahore’s elite),” wrote journalist Sabahat Zakariya after being blocked by the LLF over the social network.

She, however, wasn’t the only person to be blocked by the LLF on Twitter.


“Constructive criticism is always great and we greatly welcome it,” read a statement issued by the LLF to The Current.

“Anybody who may have in the past made unreasonable or inappropriate remarks may possibly have been blocked to help the organisers steer clear of digression and focus on our passion for literature,” the statement read further, adding it was also possible that the blocks were from last year.


The eighth edition of the annual LLF is set to commence on February 21, 2020, at the Alhamra Arts Center, Mall Road.

The three-day event, culminating on February 23, 2020, will continue its tradition of hosting eminent writers, historians, artists and opinion makers from Pakistan and abroad with over a hundred speakers and 63 sessions.

Free and open-to-the-public, this year’s event will feature, among others, Oyinkan Braithwaite, who was long-listed for the Man Booker 2019; author Musharraf Ali Farooqi, who will launch his latest book, The Merman and the Book of Power; novelist and poet Nitasha Kaul, who has written on the plight of Kashmir in Modi’s India; and Adrian Hayes, who will launch One Man’s Climb, a book about his journey to reach the summit of K2.

The full slate of panels and participants for the three-day event is available here in PDF format