Performing Arts Festival cancelled due to lack of security
By Afnan Khan
LAHORE: The Rafi Peer Theatre Workshop, on Thursday, announced it would have to cancel this year’s World Performing Arts Festival due to the government’s lack of concern and cooperation over security for the festival.
In a press conference, held at the Rafi Peer Cultural Complex Rafi Peer directors, Usman, Faizan, Sadaan and Tasneem Peerzada said, the festival had been struck a fatal blow last year due to the attack on the event and therefore had requested the president, the prime minister and Punjab chief minister to provide them financial assistance so that they could organise the festival this year… but all they had received was a ‘no’.
They stated that lack of cooperation by the government and security agencies became the major cause of last year’s attack on the festival, adding “the government did not even think it necessary to compensate the organisers”.
Faizan also said Punjab Governor Salmaan Taseer wrote to the prime minister, underlining the success and benefits of the workshop since the last 25 years.The letter read: “This multi-dimensional cultural pageant is one of the biggest events of performing arts in the world and attracts art lovers from across the globe. It also presents a soft and liberal image of Pakistan as it showcases a diverse variety of indigenous art genres like folk music, historical stage-plays, puppet shows, sufi poetry recitation, qawali and many more, serving as vehicles of cultural enrichment and aesthetic gratification for thousands of art enthusiasts besides providing quality entertainment to common people thronging the festival venue in the great numbers.” World famous artists like Saieen Zahoor, Arieb Azhar, Pappu Saieen requested the government Â“not to let the event die so brutally”.
The event was previously planned to take place during November, but the organizers later announced that they could not hold it on such a massive scale without the governmentÂ’s support. Around 168,000 artists from 83 countries have performed in the festival to date including 6,000 artists from India, in the presence of 485,760 people from around the world.
Source: Daily Times