The Speakers at a folk music event here on Friday termed the country’s diverse culture a convincing tool to forge unity and promote interfaith harmony among the communities of different faiths, languages, religions, castes and areas. The Shaheed Bhutto Foundation (SBF) in collaboration with the PeaceFLIX and Banjaarun platform organised the seminar-cum-folk dance performance show titled “Raqs-e-Aman” (the dance of peace) and gathered people hailing from all the provinces and federating units of the country, where street children of Mashal Trust School performed dance on folk songs in Sindhi, Pashto, Balochi, Punjabi, Sheena and Kashmiri languages. In his welcome remarks, Shaheed Bhutto Foundation, Chief Executive Officer (CEO) Asif Khan said, “Today’s topic is peace and it’s the fundamental human right whereas nations could not prosper without it. Peace could not be sustained for the enduring time period in our country due to prolonged extremism, fundamentalism and conflicts with the neighbouring countries,” he said. “It’s the only unfortunate region that is not integrated. We are totally isolated and it’s a major drawback. The countries that got independence along us had excelled in economy, education, science and development and on the contrary, this region had existed peacefully in the ancient times,” he said. The SBF CEO underlined that peace was in the genes of the people of this region. “All our federating units preach peace. The teachings of Punjabi Sufi saints all advocate and promote peace.” The panel discussions were moderated by a senior journalist from the Banjaarun digital platform Imrana Komal. Young journalist, Ambreen Ali from NewsOne spoke on the culture and history of dance in Sindhi society. In her broef yet eloquent discussion she expressed the important historical and linguistic history of Sindhi culture. Senior Radio Broadcaster, Rukhsana Musarrat deliberated on Punjabi culture. She regretted the lack of communication by Punjabi parents in their vernacular with their children which resulted in the decline of the Punjabi language. Senior Journalist, Rakshanda Taj Baloch from APP presented her views on the Balochi language and culture. She mentioned that Baloch literature and poetry promoted peace, love and harmony whereas the cultural dance Chapp gave the message of peace and gave an opportunity for catharsis. She mentioned that despite violence and war peace was still alive in the hearts of Baloch people. Malik Riaz Bangash from Pashtun Action Committee said that the Pashtun history was rich in culture and arts. He claimed that peace was more found in Pashtun culture as it had its own culture, honour, constitution, manifesto and system in itself. Senior Journalist Fouzia Kulsoom Rana from the Women Journalist Association said when the process of dialogue was halted; peace was disrupted. She compiled the entire discussion made by the panellists and extended her gratitude to the panellists for their candid remarks. The street children performed traditional songs in Sindhi, Brahvi, Punjabi, Pushto, Shena, and Kashmiri. During the second session, Mumtaz Mughal, Director of Aurat Foundation said the women who have contributed to peace-making in their regions should be promoted through art and literature to promote harmony in the society. Vice President, of the National Press Club, Islamabad, Myra Imran said the ills in our society like poverty, extremism, and exploitation of women were flagged by different organisations in the past decades but were ignored and resulted in major catastrophes. She noted that the community and societies should lead the change and avoid waiting others for to bring any change for betterment. “Media has a crucial role and students in Universities need to resolve these issues. Culture is a tool to unite and forget our problems,” she added. Chief Guest, Mashal Trust founder, Zeeba Hussain in her address said the culture had nothing to do with religion it was a separate thing that promoted peace and love in the society. Commenting on her motivation for Mashal Trust, she said after getting a brain tumour, she decided to work for street children. She added that the trust started with children wandering on shrines and engaged them through sports and love as youth, communities and societies all start from children. “Our culture is our identity like the love of our mother and their lullabies that engraved the emotions of love and care among us. These children got affected due to violence and sexual abuse that’s why I started this endeavour to bring them to par with the society.” She said the youth and children were the future of the country and it would reclaim it. Guest of Honour, Senior Broadcaster and programme director Radio Pakistan, Manzoor Kamran in his keynote address commended the street children’s performance. He said the poetry of Sufi saints gave the message of peace, unity and tolerance. “Every region of Pakistan has a lovely culture, literature and art that gives a message of peace. We need to express our culture through our music, clothes, jewellery etc. It’s our collective expression that unites us whereas interfaith harmony is the need of the hour and we will have to promote peace and love,” he ended.