Kashmir Solidarity Day marked at PNCA, Lok Virsa

Zubair Qureshi

National Institute of Folk and Traditional Heritage (Lok Virsa) and Pakistan National Council of the Arts (PNCA) organized a number of programmes expressing solidarity with the people of the Jammu & Kashmir and to highlight their sufferings at the hands of the occupying Indian forces.
A day-long Kashmir Cultural Festival was held at Shakarparian by Lok Virsa while at PNCA too, artist paid tribute to the Kashmiri martyrs in a cultural program arranged. The programmes at both Lok Virsa and PNCA were organized in collaboration with the Ministry of Kashmir Affairs and Gilgit Biltistan at National Art Gallery.
Special programmes organized on the occasion at Lok Virsa included “Kashmiri Artisans at work” featuring Kashmiri master artisans in different specialized craft fields like papier mache, embroidery, namda, gabba, jewellery, etc. who demonstrated their skills before the visitors throughout the day; Congregation of Kashmiri community where immigrant Kashmiri people dressed in authentic Kashmiri attire joined and expressed solidarity with the Kashmiris; live folkloric performances by young folk artists, musicians and instrumentalists who sung inspirational and national songs to project the Kashmir cause; Arts & Crafts Bazaar with special arts & crafts offering a variety of knick-knacks, gemstones, folk arts, crafts, trinkets, etc.
Lok Virsa premises was also decorated with colourful buntings and banners bearing slogans in support of Kashmir cause. Lok Khaba at Lok Virsa premises at Garden Avenue also provided visitors with various traditional Kashmir dishes, which enjoyed them a lot. In short, Lok Virsa complex remained hub of Kashmiri cultural activities throughout the day from 10 am to 6 pm. Both the national museums working under Lok Virsa, i.e. Heritage Museum and Pakistan Monument Museum also remained opened on the Kashmir Solidarity Day and entertained hundreds of visitors including families, children, youth.
The venue of Lok Virsa Heritage Museum was also decorated with beautiful traditional Kashmiri craft items and related accessories, which looked nice.
The accompanying teachers with youth also seemed happy with this different style of demonstration of cultural heritage by Lok Virsa management.
At PNCA the events were: Puppet Show, Exhibition of Photography, a stage play and a cultural show. The puppet show based on the Kashmiri struggle for independence was attended by a large number of students with their parents. The exhibition of photographs reflecting the Indian brutality in held Kashmir attracted a large number of visitors from twin cities.
The photographs are narration of the struggle of Kashmiri innocent people who are fighting for their independence and rights of self-determination. A play “laho Rang Kashmir” written by Khalid Majid was Part of Kashmir Day Program.
The Artists very skillfully and brilliantly exposed the Indian Strategy and suppression of the Kashmiri people The play give hope to the Kashmiri freedom for struggle and tribute to the freedom fighters. The musical show comprised of Bano Rehmat,Raja Imran and Bakhtawar Paid Tribute to freedom fighters of Kashmir by presenting Kashmiri popular Folk Music and songs. The artists of the National Performing Art Group presented folk dances of Kashmir.

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