The Information Technology University (ITU) is set to hold the second edition of the Afkar-e-Taza ThinkFest at Alhamra Arts Centre on The Mall, Lahore, on January 13-14.
In a statement released on the occasion, ITU vice chancellor Dr. Umar Saif said that Afkar-e-Taza was the first of its kind festival in Pakistan. “It focuses solely on fostering creative and innovative thinking, and aims to promote the forward-looking, progressive, and modern vision of the nation’s founder Quaid-e-Azam Muhammad Ali Jinnah,” he noted.
Over 20 international speakers from leading universities like Harvard, New York University, and Georgetown, and institutions like the British Library and the French Institute for Near Eastern Studies are participating in the festival.
These include Professor Reza Pirbhai, the author of the biography of Fatima Jinnah; Professor Robert Hoyland, an expert on early Islam; Professor Ben Hopkins, an expert on Afghanistan; and Professor Daniel Elam, who has done ground-breaking work on Bhagat Singh.
Pakistan-based speakers will include eminent journalists like Najam Sethi, Nasim Zehra, Arif Nizami, Ejaz Haider, Fahd Husain, and Khurram Husain.
There will also be panels with leading academics from universities across the country in conversation with foreign academics.
Scholars from Pakistani universities at the Thinkfest will include Dr Ishrat Hussain and Dr Syed Jaffar Ahmad from the University of Karachi; Dr Razia Sultana, the vice chancellor of Shaheed Benazir Bhutto Women’s University, Peshawar; Dr Ishtiaq Ahmed, vice chancellor of Sargodha University; Dr Iqbal Chawla from Punjab University; and Dr Aasim Sajjad Akhtar from Quaid-e-Azam University.
Discussion sessions will begin on both days at 11am and continue till 7:30pm.