ISLAMABAD: Pakistan’s Caretaker Federal Minister for National Heritage and Culture, Jamal Shah, said on Monday that culture is the path that leads to provincial solidarity, harmony, peace, love, and brotherhood amongst the nation.
Addressing an award ceremony of the 10-day folk festival -Lok Mela organized by Lok Virsa, the minister said that the rich culture and traditions of all four provinces, in addition to Gilgit-Baltistan (GB) and Azad Kashmir, presented in the festival in a befitting manner while artwork and handicrafts were a great source of attention for the visitors.
Terming Pakistan as a land of ancient civilizations, Jamal Shah, said Pakistan hosts ancient civilizations including Mohenjo-daro, Harappa, Mehar Garh, and Gandhara, which left remarkable footprints in this region.
He said that the government was fully determined to strengthen national institutions by bringing innovative programmes.
The minister said that the main focus of the cultural festival was on national integration and provincial harmony, underlining the contribution of members of diverse communities in shaping Pakistan’s future.
He said that by introducing children to their culture and environment at a young age, they can make more informed decisions in life.
Jamal Shah further said that this year’s Lok Mela revived two long-lasting elements of the festival: ‘putli tamasha’ and folk theatre.
He said that language experts also organized a conference to convert the Lok poems, songs, rhymes, and literature into attractive animations, videos, and illustrated books.
Praising Lok Virsa Management for a successful folk festival, Jamal Shah said that Lok Mela was a greater source for promoting cultural diversity and establishing national cohesion besides providing quality entertainment to the people.
He said that this year, all the events of the festival were organized in expression of solidarity with the people of Palestine. A specific stall was reserved for the collection of funds for Palestine.
Humaira Ahmed, Secretary National Heritage and Culture Division, commended the culture departments, art councils, folk artists, and craftspeople of all provinces and regions for their cooperation.
She said that the annual Lok Mela serves as a reminder of the immense wealth of raw, untapped talent and the diversity of crafts and arts that every nook and cranny of the country offers.
Artisans, Folk Artists Gathered in Islamabad
Earlier, Executive Director (ED) Lok Virsa- National Institute of Folk and Traditional Heritage Muhammad Uzair Khan said that over 500 skilled artisans and folk artists from across the country took part in the Mela.
Later, the Caretaker Minister for National Heritage and Culture and Executive Director Lok Virsa distributed awards and appreciation letters among the best artisans, folk artists, and media persons for their extensive media coverage during the 10-day folk festival. WENews was also awarded an appreciation certificate for its extensive coverage of the festival to promote local cultures.