A singer performs at Nishtar Hall, Peshawar. — Dawn
A singer performs at Nishtar Hall, Peshawar. — Dawn

PESHAWAR: Noted singers enthralled Peshawarites with their spellbinding performance and kept gluing the tasteful audience to their seats for hours.

The city’s lone theatre Nishtar Hall re-echoed here on Saturday night with velvety voices of the singers from, Peshawar, Nowshera, Abbottabad, Islamabad and UK and registered a huge impact on the participants.

Organised under the auspices of Abasin Arts Council (AAC), the music show tiled ‘Saat Suron Ka Behta Daria Tere Naam’ was attended by families, artists, writers, students and music buffs. Prof Siraj, Aziz Ejaz, Prof Sher Zaman Seemab and Prof Nazeer Tabbasum were among the audience.

Artist from Abbottabad steals the show by singing in Hindko, Pashto, Seraiki, Punjabi and Urdu

Raheel Abbas, a noted folk singer from Abbottabad, stole the show by singing in Hindko, Pashto, Seraiki, Punjabi and Urdu. The audience also gave a standing ovation to a senior flute player Zakir Mir Mughal from the same city for playing some wonderful tunes.

Shameel Chauhan, a Peshawar-born artist now based in England, stunned the audience by singing numbers of Bulle Shah Baba and some oldies of Urdu ghazal maestros, Mehdi Hasan and Jagjeet Singh.

Senior music composer Nazeer Gul Ustad and Arbab Fazal Rauf sang poetry of Hamza Baba and Ghani Khan. Popular singer Saima Gill, however, transported the participants to ecstasy by singing Urdu, Punjabi and Pashto songs.

Prof Abid Khan Khattak, an amateur singer, paid a musical tribute to ailing Pashto singer Hidayatullah by singing his most popular number ‘ Rasha Auo Rasha’ he had sung for the first Pashto film ‘Yousaf Khan Sherbano’ released in December 1970.

Shehla Khan Afridi, a university student, said that culture directorate should organise such functions to keep up warm the people, who suffered militancy and unrest in the province and the country at large.

She said that artists captivated her and her colleagues with their brilliant performance. “I would ask the culture department to conduct decent events like this in which families and students could participate to enjoy some happy moments,” said Ms Afridi.

ANP leader Syed Aqil Shah, who was chief guest on the occasion, said that it was his credit to found the culture directorate during his government tenure in the militancy-plagued province and reopened Nishtar Hall for all kinds of literary and cultural activities following a dark period of MMA government.

“Khyber Pakhtunkhwa enjoys linguistic and cultural diversity and this fertile soil has produced great artists and heroes in several fields,” said Mr Shah.

Prof Nasir Ali Syed, in his opening remarks, said that he enjoyed the unique privilege to have had hosted the first ever music show in Nishtar Hall way back in 1984.

Mushtaq Ahmad Shabab, honourary secretary of AAC, said that the main objective of the show was to provide a quality entertainment to Peshawarites.

He said that the tradition of folk music and light ghazal singing should be kept alive as it was reflective of their culture and lifestyle.

Published in Dawn, February 11th, 2019