SPECIAL CORRESPONDENT

NEW YORK

A qawwali group led by famed Farid Ayaz Farid Ayaz and Abu Muhammad enthralled a large number of music fans at the Pakistan Mission to the United Nations in New York well into the night, capturing sufism's message of love, peace and tolerance. 

Dressed in green kurtas and white pajamas, the qawwals gave a well-synchronised performance that captivated the audience. Melodious strains of the harmonium, dholak and tabla instruments provided solid continuity as Farid Ayaz wove in recitation of Amir Khusro poetry and other Sufi Kalam.

The gala event "Sufi Night" was organised by the Pakistan Mission in cooperation with the Aman Foundation, a philanthropic organization. "I am delighted to be hosting the first of what I hope will be many such evenings showcasing our music, our heritage and our rich culture," Pakistan UN Ambassador Maleeha Lodhi said, while welcoming the Qawwals as well as members of the Pakistani community, U.N. officials and journalists.

"‘Sufi night’  tonight will not only pay tribute to Amir Khusro but also be inspired by the spiritual practice of ‘zikr’ (remembrance of God)  reminding us of the universal message of oneness of the Divine,  and a message of love, compassion,  tolerance and seeking the truth," she added.