Folk Festival of Pakistan, popularly known as Lok Mela has started at Garden Avenue, Shakarparian.
The inaugural ceremony of the 7-day Lok Mela was held on Monday at Lok Virsa. Minister for Federal Education Shafqat Mahmood was the chief guest.
According to the tradition, Lok Mela opened with a Dastarbandi of established master artisans and folk artists. “Dastarbandi” is a symbol of Lok Virsa’s sustained campaign to keep the heritage of Pakistan alive and continuing.
In his address, Federal Minister Shafqat Mahmood welcomed all the participants of the mela hailing from different parts of the country.
He said that he always feel delighted while visiting Lok Virsa. This institute is determined for the conservation, preservation and propagation of folk cultural heritage of Pakistan.
This festival is a part of government’s initiatives that encourages steps which are directly related for the betterment of people of Pakistan. The central focus of the festival is rural Pakistan.
The direct beneficiaries are master craftspeople, folk artists, rural musicians and other performers from each and every corner of the country.
The festival serves to disseminate the dynamic creativity of our countryside and would give rural folk a pride in their identity.
He thanked executive director Lok Virsa and his team for holding such a beautiful event and ensure cooperation of his ministry.
In the evening, a musical evening of Gilgit Baltistan was held concurring the Independence Day of Gilgit Baltistan. Folk singers and musicians from Gilgit Baltistan presented melodious songs.
Minster for Department of Planning, Development and Information, Government of Gilgit Baltistan Mr. Fateh ullah Khan was the chief guest. A large number of audience mostly belonging to Gilgit Baltistan enjoyed the evening.
Folk singers including Ghulam Abbas, Iftikhar, Shakeel Sameen, Burhan, Sher Khan Jan Nisar, Ibrahim Jon, Mir Afzal, Abid, Jameel and Shehbaz along with regional dance group presented traditional songs and music of Gilgit Baltistan.