South Asian artists play for SAARC media
By Khurram Shahzad
ISLAMABAD: Information and Broadcasting Minister Sheikh Rashid Ahmed on Saturday hosted a South Asian Association for Regional Cooperation musical evening and a dinner at the Pakistan Television centre to provide an opportunity for visiting media to enjoy South Asian music.
The majority of the renowned South Asian musicians performed at the occasion. Meeta Pandit, the female singer of Indian Gwalior family, was leading her country’s musicians. Asad Amant Ali Khan and Humera Chana from Pakistan were the host and amused the audience. The Indian sarangi nawaz Bharat Goshan and tabla nawaz MK Jha with Pakistani tabla masters Muhammad Ajmal and companions won the hearts of audience by playing their instruments.
Niaz Choudhary and Fareeda Parveen presented Bangladeshi music on the flute and the tabla with Abdul Hakim and Muhammad Ali. Shakti Shreftha, Manohar, Promod, and Ghopal Des from Nepal graced the occasion while their music master Dr Amara Deeva and his daughter Subhani Amaradeva sang songs with Guna Sena and Ranatunga, who played music. The Maldives sent Howa Ali Shan and Abdul Hanan Musa for singing and Ahmed Naeem for performing on instruments to present their traditional songs. Dorji, Wang Chuk Taashi and Norbu enthralled the audience with Bhutani music.
After the dinner, the music started and all Bhutani groups performed light Bhutani music and presented songs. Then Bangladesh’s Niaz Chaudhary, student of the Pakistani music family ‘Patial Gharana’, Ustad Fateh Ali Khan and Amanat Ali Khan delighted the audience with his Urdu ghazal. Later, his companion Farida Perveen amused the audience with her beautiful songs. Indian Amita Pandit, who has a degree in music, sang ghazals and audience enjoyed her outstanding performance. Despite not understanding the foreign languages, the artists were equally appreciated by the listeners. Asad Amant Ali Khan and Humera Channa gave the best of their time and were praised by the audience.
The audience was happy with the show but some detail slightly marred the programme. The management forced 95 percent of the foreign journalists to stay during the musical show.
The served dinner was far from the stage and many people did not even arrive for the music. The Indian and Pakistani singers should have performed last to keep alive the involvement of audience but they performed in the middle of the programme, allowing some listeners to leave the show in the middle without listening to musicians from Nepal, the Maldives and Sri Lanka. The PTV organised a musical evening on Sunday for foreign journalists, featuring Ustad Ghulam Ali, Fareeha Pervez and Fuzon. Federal ministers Rao Sikandar Iqbal, Noraiz Shakur, Zubeda Jalal, Awais Ahmed Leghari and Sardar Yar Muhammad Rind attended the evening.