ISLAMABAD - Replica of Bab-e-Khyber as entrance to the Khyber Pakhtunkhwa pavilion, which is boasting 25 diverse master craftsmen and craftswomen from different parts of the province, stands tall with its grandeur in Lok Mela.

Many artisan stalls in the KP pavilion, surprisingly, have been allocated to female artisans. Saira Parveen, Tasleem Bibi, Khadija Sardar, Tanzila Yasmin, Ayesha Salim, Kiran Sahi, Nasreen Nisar, Rameem Naz, Hanfa Shah, Naheed Kousar, and Zainab Bibi were among the craftswomen who are adding charm to the KP pavilion.

Saira Perveen, prominent amongst all, specialises in Hazara Phulkari (flower work on a hand-woven coarse cotton cloth), which is a famous form of embroidery. She attained mastery in this field from her mother and other women at a very tender age. It reflects the local traditions, culture and physical environment of the people and place where it developed.

Saira has trained a number of female students at Havelian. She has been participating in various festivals and exhibitions and receiving recognition for her talent.

Male artisans include Waseem, Samiullah, M Saeed, Taj Muhammad, Shams Zaman, Riaz Ahmed, Sultanat Khan, Kashif, M Asif, Sultan Muhammad, Shah Behram, Aurangzeb, and Khawaja Safar Ali.

Khawaja Safar Ali, a resident of Peshawar, is an artisan par excellence of metal work. The 70-year old man has dedicated most of his life in making beautiful metal objects.

Metal work, once common especially in the villages, is now slowly and gradually vanishing due to its high cost and invasion of imported metal ware, but Safar can still be found displaying his prized crafts at his workshop in Misgaran Bazaar. He engraves decorative plates, vases, bowls, samovars and similar other things in exquisite designs reminiscent of the great Mughal Period.

Lovely aroma of ‘Chappal Kabab’ is an irresistible temptation for food lovers at KP pavilion. Other varieties of traditional food like ‘Patta Seekh’ and ‘Lamb Karahi’ all washed down with a cup of green tea laced with a hint of cardamom being brewed in samovar are also offered with folk Pashtun music in the background.

The ongoing Lok Mela is being organised by National Institute of Folk & Traditional Heritage (Lok Virsa).