Islamabad - The federal government on Monday announced to organise a 3-day Islamabad Spring Festival-2018 starting from April 6 despite financial constraints and lack of resources, it has been learnt.

Interior Minister Ahsan Iqbal held a press conference here to announce the decision. In the past, Capital Development Authority (CDA) and MCI used to organise such events but this time, the interior ministry is organizing the event amidst financial constraints. As the city government does not have sufficient funds to organise an event of a big-scale, the authorities are looking for sponsors. The sources in the deputy commissioner Islamabad office suggest that the government, in the last year of its tenure, wants to make the event a memorable one by generating multiple activities. “The organisers are thoroughly relying on the sponsors,” they added. Several meetings have been held at the Chief Commissioner office so far to finalise the arrangements for the event. According to officials who spoke on condition of anonymity, festivals like this should be organised by the CDA, MCI or another relevant ministry. “With the unavailability of sufficient funds, the authorities have been running from pillar to post to find sponsors and meet the expenditures which are estimated to run in millions,” the sources told this scribe.  It is to mention here that the government put on hold all the programme after the Raiwand terrorist attack some days back but later gave a go ahead to the officials in this regard, according to the sources.  

Unveiling the programme, the interior minister said that the event will mark the beginning of ‘Rising Pakistan”. He said that Pakistan was progressing towards a ‘peaceful country’. He termed PSL final in Karachi a great success and added that the menace of terrorism is slowly being erased from the country. He vowed to turn the event into a ‘Tourist Event’ in which tourists from across the globe would participate. “This will present a positive face of the country before the world,” he added. He also announced that on the last day of the event, massive tree plantation activity would be carried out at the Margalla Hills.

According to the festival programme, the inauguration ceremony of the event will be held at Fatima Jinnah Park on April 6 where band display, horse dance, folk dance and fireworks will entertain the public. The first day events will include a family gala at Fatima Jinnah Park. Food festival, Kids Arena and music will be a part of the gala. A musical concert would be organised at the Convention Centre where prominent singers will enthral the audience, according to the programme.

The second day of the festival will include cycling competition, flower exhibition, water sports, arts and crafts gallery held at different venues. Cycling competition would be held from Marghazar Zoo to Damae-e-Koh, flower exhibition at Lake View Park and Water Sports at Lake View Park. 

Arts and Crafts Gallery would be set up at PNCA. Mazaiya Mushaira would be arranged at Marriot hotel.

On the 3rd day of the event, marathon race up to 5 mile, 3 mile and 1 mile would start from Fatima Jinnah Park. A dog show would be held at Fatima Jinnah Park and the closing ceremony would be held at the convention centre on the same day.