ISLAMABAD: Adviser to Prime Minister for National Heritage and Culture Engr Amir Muqam here on Saturday formally inaugurated the 10-day folk festival of Pakistan “Lok Mela” organized by Lok Virsa, National Heritage and Culture Division.
Speaking on the occasion, the adviser stated that Lok Mela provides a much-needed platform to the traditional practitioners including master artisans, folk artistes, folk musicians, and folk dancers from all over the country to participate in the festival and win recognition of their talent at national level.
Artists and artisans are our asset and they contribute immensely to the development of the society, he added.
The adviser further stated that the events like Lok Mela serve to promote national harmony and integration among all federating units through projection of their indigenous culture and folk heritage. The events like Lok Mela are a priority of the present government as these promote Pakistan’s traditional culture and provide healthy entertainment for the people.
Engr Amir Muqam maintained that Pakistan is a peace loving country with a diverse and ancient cultural heritage. Our creative people continue keeping their centuries’ old traditions alive with great pride. The work of our artisans and artists is matchless. Our crafts have a separate identity in the entire world. Culture is an effective tool through which true soft image of Pakistan can be projected.
The adviser also thanked all regional and provincial governments and their cultural departments for cooperating with Lok Virsa for organizing this national event. He appreciated the Lok Virsa for donating a part of its earnings from the festival to the Prime Minister’s Flood Relief Fund.
The adviser greatly appreciated the efforts of Lok Virsa administration as well as the National Heritage and Culture Division for holding this mega cultural event in a befitting manner.
Fareena Mazhar, Secretary, National Heritage and Culture on the occasion said the projects like Lok Mela serve to eliminate the menace of extremism in the society.
There is a message of peace, unity, love and brotherhood in the teachings of our great Sufi saints. Festivals contribute to disseminate this message to the humanity. She further added that the major focus of the festival is rural Pakistan. The beneficiaries are rural performers and creative artisans who are certainly a real bearer of our magnificent cultural heritage.
In his welcoming remarks, Shahzad Durrani, Executive Director, Lok Virsa welcomed the participants and shed light on the objectives of the festival. He also thanked provincial cultural departments and other coordinating agencies for their enabling role in holding the festival.
The chief guest later visited festival grounds and met participants from different provinces, Gilgit Baltistan and Azad Jammu and Kashmir.
The festival will continue with all its attractions till 4th December. Daily timings are from 1000 to 2200 hours.