A University student sings a song to a rapt audience during the national song competition in the Arts Council auditorium on Wednesday. - Photo by White Star

KARACHI: There was mirth and ambiance at the Awaaz-e-Pakistan — an inter-Sindh university national song competition 2012 as 17 university students from different parts of the province on Wednesday performed a range of patriotic songs at the Arts Council.

The event was organised within the framework of “Youth Empowering Spaces” (YES), a project run by the Habib University Foundation in partnership with the Sindh department of youth affairs, in order to nurture artistic talent while reviving a spirit of nationalism.

The judges of the contest were the Benjamin Sisters, Nerissa, Beena and Shabana, who reappeared at such an event after a long gap. The chorus was immensely popular in the genre of national songs in the 1970s and 1980s.

They awarded first place to Abdul Basit from M.A. Jinnah University. Sharukh Khalid from Iqra University and Maham Mohsin from Bahria University came second and third, respectively.

The hosts of the event, Umme Kulsoom and Ahsan Umar, had pointed out from the start that the event was being held to demonstrate the talent Pakistan has, “it really is not about winning or losing, it’s about the spirit.”

According to the organisers, the contest was the first of its kind where all 40 universities and degree-awarding institutes of Sindh were requested to participate.

The event had only three participants from places other than Karachi — Ihsan Ali from Tandojam Agriculture University, Pir Abdul Wajid from the University of Sindh, Jamshoro, and Mukhtar Ali Khaskheli from Shah Abdul Latif University, Khairpur.

Sindh Secretary for Youth Affairs Shoaib Ahmad Siddiqui was also present.

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