LAHORE: Veteran actor Naseeruddin Shah has arrived in Lahore to participate in the ongoing Faiz International Festival. He is accompanied by a seven-member delegation, including his wife Ratna Pathak.
Talking to The Express Tribune, he said, “I have come to rekindle cordial relations between India and Pakistan.” He added the purpose of his visit is to pay tribute to revolutionary poet Faiz Ahmed Faiz, who himself was a proponent of peace between the two neighbours.
“I have always received immense love and happiness in Lahore and it is true that the people of both countries are the same. Artists from both sides have previously played an important role in strengthening bilateral ties and this process needs to be restarted,” shared Shah.
“Opportunities like these are great for artistic exchange,” he added. During the festival that is being held simultaneously at Alhmara and Falettis Hotel in the city, Shah will be performing four shows of his play.
Other than Shah’s team, Indian film producer and poet Muzaffar Ali will also be participating, while other theatre actors have also arrived. Renowned Indian singer Sonam Kalra and Pakistani Singer Tina Sani have been roped in for a musical performance as well.
Thirty literary discussions and four theatre performances will be held during the four- day-festival. A grand poetry session, comprising poets from both countries, will take centre stage alongside thought-provoking talks on a variety of subjects. Five book launches, five musical and two dance performances are also scheduled.
Shah also paid a visit to Faiz’s home and discussed arrangements for the festival. He was welcomed by Faiz’s daughters Muniza Hashmi and Saleema Hashmi and grandson Adeel Hashmi.
“We are moving forward with Faiz’s mission and in this connection we are staging a number of programmes to make the people aware about Faiz’s ideology,” said Saleema Hashmi.
Published in The Express Tribune, November 20th, 2015.