HYDERABAD: The Thar and Parkar Festival has brought a wave of cultural and financial activities in the desert region, said Culture Minister Sardar Ali Shah.
“We are going to fight extremism through cultural festivities, which spread a message of peace and pluralism,” said Shah while addressing the concluding ceremony of the four-day festival in the historic Umerkot Fort on Saturday.
Thousands of people attended the event and enjoyed a range of entertainment, literary and sports activities. Mai Dhai, Ameer Fakeer, Humera Channa, Reshma Parveen, Rashid Hyderi, Dilbar Jalal Chandio and other singers performed at the musical event.
As many as 40 stalls were set up selling Thari food, clothes, quilts, mosaic and shawls as well as other embroidered items. The models of Tharparkar’s villages, depicting daily lives of the dwellers of the desert, attracted many people who are unfamiliar with this way of life. The poetic symposium and Sughar Kachehri [conference of folks] also featured at the festival.
The culture minister said he has promised his political party that in his one-and-a-half years at the ministry, he would carry out the kind of work that has not been done in the last two decades. “Critics make baseless theories that I have been launched by the Pakistan Peoples Party leadership to buy Sindh’s intelligentsia. But the fact is that they can never be bought at any price”, he observed.
He credited the people of Tharparkar and Umerkot district for making the festival successful. “They [the people] have owned their culture. They have taken ownership of their heritage and archaeological sites.”
Shah said the provincial government is prepared to undertake any initiative for the promotion of culture, tourism and archaeology. He also announced the establishment of Tharparkar Museum in Umerkot Fort and a hotel for tourists.