Sindh Culture Day events held in city
KARACHI: Several events marking Sindh Culture Day, popularly known as Aikta (unity) day, were organised in Karachi like the rest of the province on Sunday.
The main programme was held outside the Karachi Press Club, where people residing in various neighbourhoods of the sprawling metropolis came to witness and be part of the raucous proceedings featured with colours, and incessant music and dance.
Organisers of the programme outside the KPC said it was eighth year since the day was celebrated for the first time as a token of protest against an anchorperson of a private TV channel who had criticised the then president Asif Ali Zardari in December 2009 for wearing Sindhi cap during his foreign tours.
“Those comments had deeply hurt the sentiments of the people of Sindh, who, in protest, announced and observed the day of unity to celebrate the rich Sindhi culture,” said an organiser.
This year’s theme for the event was “Sindh beyond hatred and prejudice”.
A large number of men, women and children wearing brightly coloured and distinctively embroidered dresses, Sindhi caps and ajraks gathered from outside the KPC to the Metropole Hotel roundabout where heavy sound system had been put in place on a makeshift stage resonating with Sindhi songs.
Several political and nationalist parties and groups took out rallies from various parts of the city and merged into the key assembly.
Flags of various parties, including the Jeay Sindh Qaumi Mahaz, Sindh United Party, Pakistan Tehrik-i-Insaf, Pakistan Peoples Party, etc, were seen in the hands of activists of respective parties and groups.
Rallies were taken out from Lyari, Baldia, Manghopir, Malir, Korangi, Gulshan-i-Hadeed, Ibrahim Hyderi and several other neighbourhoods.
Another large public meeting was held outside the Malir Press Club in which people wearing traditional folk dresses participated.
The Muttahida Qaumi Movement celebrated the day with not the pomp and show as it had been doing in past years. As its traditional headquarters in Azizabad is sealed, the party organised a relatively austere programme at its makeshift headquarters in PIB Colony.
The programme was attended by a sizeable number of people wearing ajrak and Sindhi cap.
“No matter we speak Sindhi or Urdu, we are Sindhis and will make Sindh a progressive place, a bastion of peace,” said Dr Farooq Sattar, convener of the MQM-Pakistan, in his speech at the event.
He said followers of Shah Abdul Latif Bhitai would foil every conspiracy aimed at dividing the people of Sindh.
Dr Sattar wearing a Sindhi cap and ajrak was addressing the gathering against the backdrop of a large screen set up at the programme illuminating with greetings for the day.
He said Sindh had a unique history of 5,000 years, which showed the tolerance of people living there through the centuries despite continuous arrival of moving communities and their mixing with the native people.
Singers sang popular Sindhi songs and people danced.
During the day, TV channels broadcast special programmes on the culture of Sindh.
Non-governmental organisations and certain media outlets separately arranged musical events, which also attracted large audience to celebrate the culture day.