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Attan performance planned next week

April 01, 2017

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A GROUP of youngsters perform traditional Pashtun dance Attan at a public park in Peshawar. — Dawn
A GROUP of youngsters perform traditional Pashtun dance Attan at a public park in Peshawar. — Dawn

PESHAWAR: Pakhtun social activists have announced they will organise an Attan performance at Bagh-i-Naran of Hayatabad area in Peshawar next week to show solidarity with the Punjab University, Lahore, students, who were attacked by a student group for holding a cultural event on campus.

Attan is a dance popular in Pakhtun areas.

Social activist Tariq Afghan, who leads a pro-Attan campaign, suggested that March 21 be celebrated as the International Attan Day.

He told Dawn that he and his colleagues had posted a message on social media in favour of Attan in reaction to the Punjab University incident.

“We want to show solidarity with our Pakhtun bothers studying at the Punjab University in Lahore, who were barred by extremists from holding their cultural event. We want to make March 21 a memorable day in the history of Pakhtuns,” he said.

The activist said he along with others had planned to write a letter to Afghan president Ashraf Ghani through the Afghan embassy in Islamabad to declare March 21 as the Attan Day in the country.

He said similar demand would be made to the KP government.

Mr Tariq Afghan said other members of the campaign had formally requested to the Peshawar deputy commissioner for issuance of NOC for the holding of an Attan performance in the city on next Monday.

He said university students and social and cultural activists would attend the event in large numbers.

Another rights activist Shafeeq Gigyani said Attan was a cultural and traditional dance performed by Pakhtuns across the world.

“The Pakhtun nation is the worst victim of terrorism both in Pakistan and in Afghanistan. Despite all resistance of terrorist forces, Pakhtun liberal forces are promoting own cultural activities across Pakistan,” he said.

He said Pakistan and Afghanistan should declare March 21 as the Attan Day.

Rights activist Shafeeq Gigyani said millions of Pakhtuns living in different parts of the world had shared their views and videos about Attan on the social media.

He said the Attan performance in Peshawar would send out a strong message to the civilised world that Pakhtuns were a peaceful nation and were determined to win respect for their cultural values at all costs.

Published in Dawn, April 1st, 2017