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September 22, 2019

Separate ‘Pashtun Culture Day’ events planned due to political differences


September 22, 2019

Two separate programmes celebrating ‘Pashtun Culture Day’ will be held in Karachi because of differences between the Pashtun ethnic party and community leaders.

Pashtun Culture Day is celebrated on September 23 every year since 2014. This day was designated for promoting Pashtun culture during a meeting of the Afghan Forum, a cross-border peace initiative, in Peshawar that year. Since then, every year, gatherings are held in various cities, particularly, Peshawar, Quetta, Islamabad and Karachi, to mark the day.

In Karachi, the day was marked with great enthusiasm by showcasing poetry, music, dance, attire, customs and several other aspects of culture. However, this year, the Awami National Party’s Sindh chapter has announced it will organise it separately on September 22 (today) outside the Karachi Press Club, cutting off its links with other Pashtun outfits and individuals who are making efforts to organise a big show on Sea View on September 23 (Monday).

ANP Sindh’s Cultural Secretary said that his party had decided to celebrate it on Sunday because it is a holiday and most of the people could attend the celebrations. “Most of the Pashtuns living in the city are working class and free on Sunday. They could not attend any program on working the day,” Shamal, who is also a known poet, told The News.

He said that the party had mobilised the community across the city and a large number of people would attend the cultural event outside the Karachi Press Club.

However, organisers of the cultural day marking it on Monday said that their program would be apolitical, and Pashtun people from various political parties, such as the Pakistan Tehreek-e-Insaf, and the Pakistan Peoples Party, community organisations, student and youth groups and civil society would attend it.

“On September 23, Pashtuns not only in Pakistan but also across the world will mark the day. It is the reason that we are stick to that day,” said Fida Kakar, the organiser, who is also a leader of the Pashtun Students Federation. “Pashtun culture is not associated with a certain political party.”

Organisers of both events stressed that it was necessary to show the world that Pashtuns were peaceful people with a vibrant culture and traditions, that they celebrated cultural days.

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