PESHAWAR: The artistes here on Saturday asked the government to take steps for the revival of the entertainment industry in Khyber Pakhtunkhwa.
They were speaking at a function that was held to mark the Music Freedom Day.
Actors, singers, musicians and a large number of youth and music loving people attended the event.
TheTakhleeqDevelopment Foundation, anorganisationworking for promotion of art and rights of artistes, in collaboration with the Cultural Journalists Forum, hadorganisedthe event.
The artistes noted that the entertainment industry had been hit hard during the long reign of militancy.
They blamed the successive governments for the poor financial condition of the singers and musicians due to lack of patronage and support.
TakhleeqDevelopment Foundation Director and famous Pashto language drama actorArshadHussainsaid the day was observed on March 3 annually in 60 countries across the globe.
He said the day was observed to highlight the importance of music and plight of people associated with this industry.
ArshadHussainsaid the artistes faced numerous hardships and the industry suffered due to militancy and ignorance by successive governments.
ArshadHussainsaid that several artistes had changed profession due to threats from militants while score of others were killed in Peshawar and other districts for a host of reasons.
“Singers and songwriters likeAymanUdas,GhazalaJaved and others were shot dead whileShahenshahBacha,AlamzebMujahidand others quit profession duetothreats from militants,” he added.
He lamented that the artistes from Khyber Pakhtunkhwa were also being ignored at the national level events and their services were notrecognised.
A winner of presidential Pride of Performance Award and music composer & director,NazarGulUstad, pointed outthat the Pakistan Television was paying ameagreamount of Rs250 to musicians for performing in aprogramme.
“I performed in a PTVprogrammeand they did not pay the money despite even after six months. How would I financially support my family if I am underpaid,” he questioned.
NazarGulUstadsaid that several artistes had fallen ill and were looking to the government’s help.
Cultural Journalists Forum headEhtishamToru said that artistes should forge unity in ranks to get due rights.
He called for provision of monthly stipends to artistes from the tribal areas as they were not included in the monthly stipendsprogramme.
The journalist demanded government ownership of the industry and a proper mechanism for the welfare of artistes and to revive the industry.
Later, famous singer HashmatSahar, emerging young singersBilawalSaeed, female singers ShabnamTabassum, Farah Khan, Rabab players ShahidMalang,GulabkhelAfridi and others received huge applause from the audiencefor performance.