PESHAWAR: Mohammad Shoaib, runner-up at the Pakistan Idol singing competition, on Saturday received thunderous applause and a standing ovation from the audience when he showed up at the packed Nishtar Hall in the provincial capital to attend a reception hosted by the Abasin Arts Council.
Beaming with excitement, the young Peshawarite sang his top numbers enthralling the audience.
Former culture minister Aqil Shah, who was the chief guest at the event, said it was unfortunate that the current provincial government hadn’t honoured the talented singer and that it seemed the government wasn’t interested in promoting local culture and art.
He demanded cash prize and lifelong incentives for Shoaib.
The former minister also regretted that Kishwar Ali, another Peshawarite, recently did the city in particular and the province in general, proud by winning the title of Mr Pakistan in a national bodybuilding competition but the provincial government had yet to bestow honour on him.
He announced Rs50,000 cash for the Abasin Arts Council to host a grand reception for Mr Shoaib.
Mr Aqil Shah urged adviser to the chief minister on law and parliamentary affairs Arif Yousaf, who was also in attendance, to ensure that the government honour the talented Pakistan Idol runner-up befittingly.
The adviser said the entertainment event should not fall victim to politics and that he would take up the matter with the chief minister and the relevant minister for necessary action.
Thereafter, the Pakistan Idol runner-up spoke to the audience and said he didn’t care if he stood first or second in the singing competition and what mattered for him was that he had already won hearts of millions of listeners across the world through his voice.
“I am proud of my performance at Pakistan Idol and love the way you are celebrating it. It is enough for me,” he said.
Mr Shoaib got huge applause from the audience after he sang his top numbers.
Earlier, folk singers Rashid Khan and Arbab Fazal Rauf sang popular Pashto songs.
However, singer Naeemul Hasan Bablu from Multan stole the show by singing Nasir Kazmi’s ghazals and some Urdu songs. Later, former minister Aqil Shah awarded a shield to Mohammad Shoaib for doing the province proud through excellent performance at Pakistan Idol.