In order to promote Pashtun culture, the Arts Council in Khyber Pakhtunkhwa recently organised a music event at Nishtar Hall — the only centre for arts and entertainment in the city which had remained shut for nearly eight years — where various old and new artists took the stage.
By re-opening the historic Nishtar Hall, the council aims to provide a platform for entertainers and revive the trend of cultural activities in the region. While new artists availed the rare opportunity to showcase their talent, most did not perform up to the mark, due to lack of experience, leaving the audience a little disappointed.
“The purpose of organising such events is to stop anti-Pashtun culture activities that are occurring in the city,” said Tariq Jamal, Chairman of Khyber Pukhtunkhwa Arts Council. “We want to attract the crowd towards positive entertainment which was not available for the last few years due to the difficult law and order situation in the region.”
At the event, Gulraiz Tabassum, known as the king of Pashto, was probably the only musician who entertained the audience. The performance of his famous song “Sta da stargo bla wahlma janana zma” along with his typical style of reciting romantic poetry and dance moves, received immense applause from the crowd, bringing them cheering on their feet.“Gulraiz Tabassum is a great singer who has served the Pashtuns for over 30 years,” said Jamal, appreciating the singer’s contributions. “Pashto music and cultural events are always incomplete without Tabassum.”
Wisal Khayal, son of legendary Pashtun singer Khyal Muhammad, was another artist who had the crowd in cheers with his song “Nakrezay Gadeday”. Not only were the people on their feet dancing but were also showering money on the singer — a unique and rather odd way of showing appreciation in Peshawar.
Others amongst the list of performers were Shakeela, Khysta Mohmand, Laiba Khan, Sidra Ali, Laila and Muskaan. “Most of them were new to the whole concept of performing on stage, due to lack of stage shows and thus were not able to entertain the crowd properly,” added Jamal, appreciating the fact that they participated in the event regardless.
In between the performances, famous Pashtun comedians such as Syed Rahman Shino, Murad Ali and Zardad Bulbul, also took the stage and entertained the crowd with their skits. All three are well-renowned artists in the Pashtun entertainment industry. Shino recently received the title of Sadarti Tamgha Bray Husn-e-Karkardagi (Pride of Performance) for his services.
Published in The Express Tribune, November 2nd, 2012.