Pakistani, Kashmiri artists to work together to help preserve, protect, promote Kashmiri culture, heritage, says Shehryar Afridi - Lunar Gaze Lunar Gaze: Pakistani, Kashmiri artists to work together to help preserve, protect, promote Kashmiri culture, heritage, says Shehryar Afridi
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Pakistani, Kashmiri artists to work together to help preserve, protect, promote Kashmiri culture, heritage, says Shehryar Afridi

KARACHI - Chairman of the Parliamentary Committee on Kashmir Shehryar Khan Afridi has said that the artist communities of Pakistan and Jammu and Kashmir would work closely to help preserve, protect and protect true cultural heritage of Kashmir. 

Addressing the participants of an informal meeting of Karachi-based members of the newly constituted Cultural Advisory Board of the committee here at Governor's House, Shehryar Afridi said that Kashmiri culture was being destroyed by the Indian Occupational regime of Jammu and Kashmir but Pakistani artists from cinematic, television and literary spheres would work with the Kashmiri artists to foil the Indian designs. 

"Modi regime is trying to harm the identity and pride of the Kashmiri nation. For this objective, the occupation forces are using tools of oppression including youth killings, torture, rape, and Indian cultural invasion to help their design of the Kashmiri genocide. We won't let India do it," he said. 

Afridi said that the occupational regime in Indian Illegally Occupied Jammu and Kashmir is also trying to damage Kashmiri culture by massive demographic change through issuance of domicile to non-residents and also by opening wine shops and destroying Mosques and mazars in Jammu and Kashmir. 

He said that the Kashmir Committee stands committed to preserve the Kashmiri culture and identity and all steps would be taken necessary to restore the pride of Kashmiris. 

Shehryar Khan Afridi said rather than convening a meeting in Islamabad, he had decided to visit all the four provincial capitals and Muzaffarabad to meet the members of the advisory board in their hometowns first. 

"Once we hold meetings in provincial and Azad Kashmir capitals, we will convene a mega event in the National Assembly to send a strong message to the occupational regime of India and the world that Pakistan and its artists stand by Kashmiris shoulder to shoulder. 

He said soon meetings of the advisory board's Lahore, Islamabad, Peshawar, Quetta, GB, and AJK chapters are due to take place next month.

Chaired by Shehryar Khan Afridi, the meeting was attended by accomplished names from the spheres of sports and media, including the likes of Squash legend Jahangir Khan, Actors Humayon Saeed, Fahad Mustafa,  Adnan Siddiqui, Bilal Ashraf, Ali Rahman Khan, Sarwat Gillani, and Dr. Fahad Mirza, singer Shehzad Roy and a host of other well-known faces. 

The meeting commenced with a recitation from the Holy Quran followed by the national anthems of the Islamic Republic of Pakistan Pakistan and Azad Jammu and Kashmir. 

The meeting highlighted the long-overdue need for an alliance between the television, film, and sports fraternity of Pakistan and their counterparts in Indian Illegally Occupied Jammu and Kashmir, aimed at working towards internationally projecting and promoting the rich and diverse cultural heritage of the valley and its people, in a bid to highlight their plight under decades of Indian oppression. 

The over two-hour long interaction saw participants discussing various avenues of propagating Kashmir's cultural richness both at home and abroad, and the crucial need to internationalize the issue of Kashmir and the right of its people to self-determination - this in line with Pakistan's long-standing position vis-a-vis the valley.

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