Pakistan’s annual heritage fair promotes culture in colors

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Festivities, foods, handicrafts and entertainment at the heritage festival of Lok Virsa in Islamabad exhibiting diverse culture from Pakistan's provinces and regions. (AN Photo)
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Festivities, foods, handicrafts and entertainment at the heritage festival of Lok Virsa in Islamabad exhibiting diverse culture from Pakistan's provinces and regions. (AN Photo)
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Festivities, foods, handicrafts and entertainment at the heritage festival of Lok Virsa in Islamabad exhibiting diverse culture from Pakistan's provinces and regions. (AN Photo)
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Festivities, foods, handicrafts and entertainment at the heritage festival of Lok Virsa in Islamabad exhibiting diverse culture from Pakistan's provinces and regions. (AN Photo)
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Festivities, foods, handicrafts and entertainment at the heritage festival of Lok Virsa in Islamabad exhibiting diverse culture from Pakistan's provinces and regions. (AN Photo)
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Festivities, foods, handicrafts and entertainment at the heritage festival of Lok Virsa in Islamabad exhibiting diverse culture from Pakistan's provinces and regions. (AN Photo)
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Festivities, foods, handicrafts and entertainment at the heritage festival of Lok Virsa in Islamabad exhibiting diverse culture from Pakistan's provinces and regions. (AN Photo)
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Festivities, foods, handicrafts and entertainment at the heritage festival of Lok Virsa in Islamabad exhibiting diverse culture from Pakistan's provinces and regions. (AN Photo)
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Festivities, foods, handicrafts and entertainment at the heritage festival of Lok Virsa in Islamabad exhibiting diverse culture from Pakistan's provinces and regions. (AN Photo)
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Festivities, foods, handicrafts and entertainment at the heritage festival of Lok Virsa in Islamabad exhibiting diverse culture from Pakistan's provinces and regions. (AN Photo)
Updated 18 November 2019

Pakistan’s annual heritage fair promotes culture in colors

  • Lok Virsa art and crafts festival attracts thousands of visitors to experience country’s diverse culture
  • 10-day festival features food, native dresses, music, crafts, artisans, and performances

Islamabad: 'Lok Mela' by Lok Virsa is an opportunity for Pakistanis and foreigners to experience the diverse and vibrant cultures of the country’s four provinces and regions in a day during the 10 days of the annual folk festival organized in Islamabad.




Festivities, foods, handicrafts and entertainment at the heritage festival of Lok Virsa in Islamabad exhibiting diverse culture from Pakistan's provinces and regions. (AN Photo)

Lok Virsa, the National Institute of Folk & Traditional Heritage which has a prime directive to preserve, document and promote Pakistan’s cultural heritage has been organizing this festival on its premises for decades in the hills of Shakarparian park. The fair kicked off on Friday and is scheduled to end on November 24.




Festivities, foods, handicrafts and entertainment at the heritage festival of Lok Virsa in Islamabad exhibiting diverse culture from Pakistan's provinces and regions. (AN Photo)

Colorful pavilions representing Punjab, Balochistan, Khyber Pakhtunkhwa, Sindh, Gilgit-Baltistan, and Azad Jammu & Kashmir are exhibiting their respective cuisines, indigenous folk music, songs, dances, attire, crafts, and artisans have been a treat for visitors arriving in droves to see, hear, smell, taste, and touch the cultural elements.




Festivities, foods, handicrafts and entertainment at the heritage festival of Lok Virsa in Islamabad exhibiting diverse culture from Pakistan's provinces and regions. (AN Photo)

Each night the festival premieres a special musical event of a province or a ceremony with live performances or a theatrical show. For children’s entertainment, the organizers have set up a limited time period puppet show. The craft bazaar and dance performances would be enough to keep visitors occupied with enjoyment.  




Festivities, foods, handicrafts and entertainment at the heritage festival of Lok Virsa in Islamabad exhibiting diverse culture from Pakistan's provinces and regions. (AN Photo)

Several stalls, many managed by female artisans demonstrated the contribution of women in Pakistan’s economic process.

At the Baluchistan pavilion, craftswoman Aziz Fatima demonstrated her skills in Balochi embroidery, a centuries-old tradition she continues taught by her mother which Fatima intends to preserve by teaching girls in her community.




Festivities, foods, handicrafts and entertainment at the heritage festival of Lok Virsa in Islamabad exhibiting diverse culture from Pakistan's provinces and regions. (AN Photo)

Lacquer artisan, Farhat Bibi from D.I. Khan showed her skills on how to protect woodwork and add designs by applying layers of the coating in different colors while the material is rotated on a simple wooden lathe machine. In the process, patterns are etched on the surface using a thick iron needle exposing each color as per requirements.




Festivities, foods, handicrafts and entertainment at the heritage festival of Lok Virsa in Islamabad exhibiting diverse culture from Pakistan's provinces and regions. (AN Photo)

Ameer Bukhsh from Kahror Pacca, Punjab showed his skills in Woodblock pattern using natural dye, a historical-artistic designing technique originating from the lower Indus valley around southern Punjab and most of Sindh. Bukhsh has imparted his textile craft training to family members and other artisans.

There are multiple attractions for visitors to keep people from all walks of life entertained and engaged. Arab News captured the moments to give a glimpse of the country’s cultural colors festival.


Pakistan to pass new cybersecurity policy by December after Egyptian app's data breached

Updated 12 min 31 sec ago

Pakistan to pass new cybersecurity policy by December after Egyptian app's data breached

  • Bus-sharing app says data of more than 50 percent users breached in July
  • IT minister says working on legislation ‘for last many months’ to minimize future lapses

ISLAMABAD: Pakistan’s Minister for Information Technology has said a national cybersecurity and personal data protection policy will be implemented by December this year once it is passed by parliament, after popular bus-sharing service Swvl said it had suffered a major security breach that comprised user data of over half its customers.
In April this year, Dubai based information security company Rewterz claimed the private data of 115 million Pakistani mobile users was up for sale on the dark web.
In the latest breach, Egyptian bus-sharing app Swvl has said the data of more than 50 percent of the company’s user base had been breached, according to Shahzeb Memon, Pakistan general manager for the service, who told Arab News Swvl became aware of the unauthorized access in the first week of July.
In light of such incidents, a bill “related to personal data protection will pass from the parliament very soon,” minister for IT Syed Amin ul Haque said, adding: “I am very hopeful that we will complete all procedures by December this year.”
“The ministry of IT is working on cybersecurity and data protection for the last many months,” he said. “We have drafted a bill for legislation which remained on our website for public viewing. We got feedback from the public and other stockholders from inside the country as well as abroad, including the United States.”
Haque said his ministry was in touch with several companies which had access to public data to ensure incidents like the Swvl breach not not happen in the future.
“We have established a committee in this regard which has people from the IT ministry and law enforcement agencies,” Haque said. “We will try that no such data breach should occur in the future.”
Swvl was founded in April 2017 and operates buses along fixed routes, allowing customers to reserve and pay for rides using an app. It has operations in many countries, including Egypt, Kenya and Pakistan, where it launched last year.
“The investigation into the breach is still underway, but at this stage, it is clear that the data which was compromised is restricted to names, email addresses, and phone numbers,” Swvl’s Memon said. “Rest assured that our investigation ensures that passwords and credit card information were not affected or exposed.”
“The vulnerabilities have been addressed,” he added, “and we are working tirelessly to make sure this doesn’t happen again, including deploying further additional security measures.”