KARACHI: President Dr Arif Alvi has emphasised the importance of the formative role that performing arts in particular and culture in general play in reflecting the rich heritage of the Pakistani nation and in shaping a dynamic national identity.

He was speaking at the conclusion of a presentation on the poetry of the great Urdu poet Mirza Asadullah Khan Ghalib held at the National Academy of Performing Arts (Napa) on Tuesday evening.

The president called for Napa to set up similar centres of excellence across Pakistan so that the people at large can have convenient access to the enormous wealth of the country’s civilisational heritage, which began over 5,000 years ago.

He was welcomed to the event by Syed Jawaid Iqbal, chairman of the Board of Directors of the academy, President Emeritus Zia Mohyeddin, honorary acting President Senator Javed Jabbar and members of the board.

Due to the pandemic, attendance at the programme was restricted to Napa staff and students.

The president praised the impeccable rendering of some of Ghalib’s memorable poetry and writings by Zia Mohyeddin, whose narration vividly evoked glimpses from the unique life and times of the legendary poet.

A group of NAPA alumni comprising young women and men led by the head of the music faculty, Ustad Nafees Ahmed, on the sitar presented five ghazals written by Ghalib. The music was composed by Arshad Mahmud. The programme was conducted by the Head of the Drama Faculty, Khalid Ahmed.

Published in Dawn, October 14th, 2021

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