ISLAMABAD - Dr Abdul Aziz Bin Mohieddin Khoja, Saudi Minister for Information & Culture, along with his Pakistani counterpart Senator Pervez Rashid visited National Art Gallery of Pakistan, National Council of Arts and Lok Virsa.
At PNCA the guests were welcomed by Director General PNCA Mashood Ahmed Mirza. The minister visited the NAG and appreciated the permanent collection of Pakistan. Afterwards a beautiful cultural programme was presented in his honour, showcasing the rich and diverse culture of our homeland.
It started with "Taxila Odyssey " a finely choreographed sequence depicting cultural heritage, which lies at Taxila - a Buddhist learning centre and cradle of Gandhara Art. Instrumental music was also part of the programme. Rubab was exquisitely played by the young maestro Zafar, a celebrated exponent. He played popular melody of the mountains.
Colourful Bhangra dance was very much appreciated by the guests. Young dancers clad in brightly coloured dresses with bright smiles on their faces performed the Bhangra and created a beautiful aura all around. In the end Adil Usman played flute and touched the souls by presenting "Qasida Burda Sharif".
On arrival at Lok Virsa, he was warmly received by Shahera Shahid, Executive Director Lok Virsa and briefed him about the functioning of Lok Virsa and Pakistan National Museum of Ethnology, popularly known as Heritage Museum.
The Saudi minister was glad to witness the beautiful cultural corner "Al-Ghadeer" created by Lok Virsa in consultation with Embassy of Saudi Arabia highlighting Arab culture and traditions. He took keen interest in the display of "Truck Art" which is a colourful, dazzling, artwork on vehicles and other means of transportation, which is found in abundance in Pakistan. Decorations are not done only on trucks and buses but on all kinds of vehicles like tankers, mini-buses, trucks, rickshaws, horse carts and even donkey carts moving on the road throughout the country.
Other displays which attracted the dignitary a lot were "Hall of Ballads and Romances" showing four love stories from four provinces of Pakistan including Heer Ranjha from Punjab, Adam Khan Durkhane from Khyber Pakhtunkhwa, Dhola Maro from Sindh and Hani Shah Mureed from Balochistan.
He lauded efforts of Lok Virsa in documenting and preserving the rich cultural heritage of Pakistan in such an artistic and professional manner. A group of folk artists and musicians entertained the delegate on his way back by presenting mystic and folk songs.
Later, the Saudi minister attended a lunch at Lok Virsa. A large number of senior officers and media persons were also present on the occasion.