LAHORE - The three-day 12th international mystic music festival 2014 is starting today (Friday) under the aegis of Rafi Peer Theater Workshop (RPTW) at Alhamra, The Mall.

Addressing a press conference at Lahore Press Club, CEO RPTW Usman Peerzada said that on the inaugural session Provincial Minister for Education and Culture Rana Mashhood Ahmed Khan will be the chief guest.

He said Sufi singers from both India and Pakistan will perform in this mega event. He said that RPTW was planning to organise international sufi music festival in December 2014 which would be held in Islamabad, Lahore, Amritsar and Delhi.

Usman said that the Sufi poets promoted the message of love and peace in the subcontinent. He also said that for promoting the message of love and peace in the region and for increasing the people to people contact they were planning the Sufi festival in the cities of both India and Pakistan.

He said: “Through our festival, we are able to present Sufi singing and to spread message of peace. We believe that this is more important and relevant now as the world is facing menace of extremism.”

He said that it was very unfortunate that no one from abroad was ready to attend the festival due to law and order situation in the country. He said that Indian Sufi group Norran sisters refused to come to Pakistan and on the last moment one Iranian Sufi group cancelled their program.

Usman, however, said that 25 Sufi singers from all over Pakistan would perform in the festival. The prominent singers which will perform in the festival include Sanam Marvi, Zarsanga, Papu Sain, Sain Zahoor, Bader Qawal and Shah Jo Raag (Jumman Shah).

He also said that the festivals organised by RPTW provided a chance to understand the Sufi poetry, the wisdom expressed in their words and phrases and their foresightedness gives hope to humanity. Whether it is the poetry of Baba Bulley Shah, Shah Abdul Latif or the Kalam of Mian Muhammad Baksh and Waris Shah, the message is the same, he added.