Amjad Sabri Performs to Foster Values of Tolerance at Pakistan Embassy in Washington
By Saghir Shah
Amjad Sabri and his group perform at the Pakistan Embassy in Washington. Ambassador Haqqani is seen addressing the
gathering in the first picture
Washington , DC: Rich cultural traditions like Sufi poetry that help foster values of tolerance and peaceful coexistence are truly reflective of the Pakistani nation and not the daily headlines related to militancy challenge it is fighting on fringes of the society, Islamabad’s ambassador to Washington said. “ Pakistan is much more than the headlines of everyday these days. Pakistan represents 180 million people with their culture, diversity and their aspirations for the future,” Ambassador Husain Haqqani said.
He was underlining the need to see Pakistan in its entirety.
In contrast with the usual narrow superficial portrayals of the country in parts of the international media - as he spoke to a gathering of Americans and Pakistanis at the country’s embassy, which hosted a performance of sufi qawwali by Amjad Farid Sabri, son of legendary exponent Ghulam Farid Sabri Qawwal.
US Assistant Secretary of State for South and Central Asia Robert Blake, Wali Nasr, a senior advisor to Special Representative Richar Holbrooke’s office, and senior officials of the Obama Administration were among those who attended the event.
In his introductory remarks, Ambassador Haqqani said Pakistan has inherited the centuries-old tradition of qawwali and helped flower the genre to new heights. In fact, Pakistan has enriched the world culture with the unique rhytmic rendering of mystical poetry, he added.
“These traditions are part of our glorious cultural heritage. The democratic government is working to revive creative traditions so that the world realizes that a handful of extremists do not represent Pakistan but the overwhelming majority who see the message of tolerance, love and peace from such traditions.”
The diverse audience praised Amjad Frar Sabri and his team of musicians for presenting some of the memorable masterpieces of Sufi poetry written by Amir Khusro, Punjabi sufi poets, and a popular naat ‘Ya Muhammad Noor-e-Mujassam’ by Rajput Adeeb.