Week Long Photographic Exhibition on Cultural Diversity of Pakistan Launched at the European Parliament
A photographic exhibition depicting cultural diversity of Pakistan has been launched at the European Parliament in Brussels. Organized by the Embassy of Pakistan, the exhibition was inaugurated by MEP Baroness Nosheena Mobarik, Chairperson of South- Asia Delegation of the European Parliament. The exhibition showcases the work of award winning photographer Syed Javaid A Kazi, with a focus on the religious heritage of Pakistan.
A selection of photographs by Kazi, depicting places of worship of followers of different religions and beliefs in Pakistan as well as celebrations of their rituals and festivals are being displayed in the exhibition that will continue for one week. Kazi is recipient of President’s Pride of Performance and several international awards and fellowships. His work remains in permanent collections of photographic forums in different parts of the world.
In his address Pakistan’s Ambassador to Belgium, Luxembourg and the European Union Zaheer A. Janjua highlighted the contours and history of rich religious heritage of Pakistan and preservation of this heritage as valuable feature of overall cultural diversity of the country. He mentioned about religious ties between Pakistan and Europe as missionaries from European countries have been visiting the areas, that now constitute Pakistan, for centuries and even today many are serving in Pakistan.
Ambassador Janjua said that the opening up of Kartarpur Corridor, a passage giving visa free and quick access to Sikh pilgrims to the Holy Shrine of Baba Guru Nanak Dev Ji, the founder and spiritual leader of the Sikh religion was a clear evidence of open arms policy of Pakistan. Under the instructions of Prime Minister Imran Khan the project was completed within record period of less than one year and was inaugurated by him on the occasion of 550th birth anniversary of Baba Guru Nanak in November 2019. The ambassador also dispelled the misleading Indian propaganda the recent law and order incidents of individual nature as persecution of minorities in Pakistan.
In her speech, Baroness Nosheena Mubarik, who is Chair of South – Asia Delegation in the European Parliament said that Pakistan is home of several religions of the world. The soil of Pakistan has seen the birth of Sikhism and was centre of Budhism for centuries. She said that all the religions are respected equally by the constitution of Pakistan. She added that such exhibitions were important to dispel misperceptions about state of religions and beliefs in Pakistan.
Message of photographer Syed Javaid A. Kazi, who could not travel at attend the occasion was read out at the event. Kazi has visually documented heritage of various religions in Pakistan with a view to present a realistic image of religious diversity. His four books with text written by Dr Safdar Ali Shah have been acclaimed internationally. After the popularity of their first book “Churches of Pakistan” which remains in high demand the world over and has been translated into Italian and French also, three more books of Safdar and Javaid have been published titled: “Sikh Heritage of Pakistan”, “Hindu Heritage of Pakistan” and “Buddhist Heritage of Pakistan”.
The inauguration ceremony was attended by Members of European Parliament, officials of European institutions, diplomats, scholars and media persons in large numbers.
8 January, 2020