Colourful Dewali celebrations held at PNCA

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ISLAMABAD, Oct 24 (APP):A colourful evening of Dewali – a Hindu festival- was celebrated with zest and zeal by Hindu community here at Pakistan National Council of the Arts (PNCA) on Tuesday evening.
The event was arranged by Ministry of Religious Affairs and Interfaith Harmony to perform religious rituals by Hindu community.
Minister of State for Religious Affairs and Interfaith Harmony, Pir Amin ul-Hasnat was the chief guest on the occasion. Chairman Evacuee Trust Property Board (ETPB) Siddiqul Farooq, MNA Asiya Nasir, Senator Brig. (R) John Kenneth Williams, Dr. Azmatullah, Pandit Channa Lal, Senior Joint Secretary Ministry of Religious Affairs and Interfaith Harmony Riaz Khan and a large number of people of Hindu community attended the event.
Wearing colourful clothes with facial make-up and jewellery, the girls, children and women of Hindu community, besides others, joined the Diwali festival with religious fervour.
Addressing the ceremony, Minister of State Pir Amin –ul-Hasnat said Diwali was a festival of love, peace, enlightenment, happiness and harmony.
He lauded the Chairman ETPB Siddiqul Farooq for initiating number of projects for the welfare of the non Muslim Pakistanis and said Chairman ETPB also approved two universities which would provide education for centuries.
He also congratulated the Hindus community on Dewali celebrations and said the government officially organize these events to promote interfaith and harmony in the country.
Chairman ETPB Siddiqul Farooq said all minorities including Hindu community were enjoying complete religious freedom in the country.
Felicitating the Hindu community on their festival, he said he would approve an amount of Rs.2 millions from board for the construction of Hindu community center in Islamabad. He also announced Rs.100,000 personally for the community center.
Siddiqul Farooq lauded the performance of Artists of Pakistan National Council of the Arts (PNCA) on the occasion and announced Rs. 100,000 for them as well.
He further said democracy was the only way leading to progress and prosperity.
MNA Asiya Nasir said Diwali was not just a festival; rather, the act of lighting candles means that good had won over evil.
She further said the basic teachings of all the religions rest upon peace and love for human beings.
The artists from Pakistan National Council of Arts performed candle dance and tableau. At the end all participants prayed for the peace, prosperity and harmony in the country.
The artists of PNCA presented ‘Arthi and Bajan’ on the occasion and got a big applause from the participants. They also presented traditional folk dances and entertained the jam packed auditorium of PNCA.