Music festival to strengthen bonds between India-Pakistan held in Amritsar

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Amritsar, Nov 12(ANI): In an initiative to bring the world closer by breaking the barriers of language, a music festival was organized here to bridge the gap between the people of India and Pakistan.

The brainchild of late Manveen Sandhu and Faizaan Peerzada, the Sanjh Festival, currently in its sixth year, strengthens cultural links through the arts between the two countries.

It showcased a diverse range of Punjabi performing arts, including Sufi, folk and classical music by providing a platform for artists from both sides to interact.

Arif Lohar, popular Pakistani Punjabi folk singer, kept the audience spellbound with his stunning performance.

"This is such a good initiative. The two countries are coming together on one platform to spread the message of love and peace through it. I feel very good here. I wish that the initiative taken by the Rafi Peer Theatre with Punarjyot would remain forever. It is very good," Lohar said.

The festival, which was started in 2004, takes place in two phases, the first in Lahore and the second one in Amritsar. Also known as the South Asia Foundation Peace Festival, it holds painting competitions and plays as well.

Since its humble beginning five years ago, the festival has gained momentum and is doing its bit to improve relations between the two neighbouring countries.

"I think this time it is more crucial to have India as a partner in peace because the dimensions that are being created in our cities and in northern areas. If India has a positive role with Pakistan, this will benefit the peace and stability in the whole of the continent," said Faizan Peerzada, the President of fest division.

Kirat Sandhu, the Director of Punarjyot and Co-Organiser of South Asia Festival, said: "We might not be able to bring about peace immediately. But peace cannot prevail only by organising peace festivals. But such initiatives should not be stopped. No matter what, even though there are tensions between countries, terror attacks, either side, whatever it is such a thing should never stop because I have this faith in me, one day definitely, peace will prevail."

People of India and Pakistan hope that Saanjh will continue to help promote better relations through its efforts. By Ravinder Singh (ANI)

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