Platforms and ventures like Shaan-e-Pakistan make us fall in love with her country all over again. They remind us why our rich culture, traditions and ancient sub-continental history is admired and envied all over the world. Indeed, Pakistan is the land of music, culture, fashion, food and unending festivity. For those of you who are not familiar with SEP, let me walk you through it. It is a huge and a unique Pakistani platform for culture, food, music and fashion which aims to project the best that Pakistan has to offer beyond its borders. It began around five years back when it was first held in New Delhi, then in 2016, it took place in Lahore. It went to Karachi in 2018 and last year, Lahore hosted it again. It has invited Indian artists as well in the past, to participate and to make their presence felt among Pakistanis so as to share positive vibes of friendship and peace.Huma Nassr is the person spearheading SEP and today, we speak to her about taking this initiative to Sri Lanka next month. Please tell us in detail how this year’s Shaan-e-Pakistan will be different from the previous ones.This year, SEP would not be different as its previous editions. It has always been about promoting Pakistan in the best way to the international world. The festival of three days in India in 2015 was not easy and this time we are more confident as we have more partners on board. Why did you choose Colombo as the host city rather than anywhere in Pakistan as was the norm?We chose Sri Lanka to get Pakistan to the most friendly country and also, promoting tourism is our prime minister’s vision. We thought let’s promote their tourism and invite Sri Lankans to come as well with triple the delegation to the Gandhara Festival. Our objective was to initiate our best to celebrate in Sri Lanka and get the utmost barter from them soon. We are going to invite Sri Lankans to come to our country and enjoy the most sacred Buddhist temples that lie unexplored. Let’s show them how beautiful Pakistan is.What are you personally looking forward to the most in this year’s event?Personally, I’m always excited to take Pakistan wherever in the world I can but if you ask for this edition, my personal confidence has tripled in amount. I don’t intend to prove anything to anyone but just work with the passion to raise the Pakistani flag on Sri Lankan ground on March 23 in celebration of Pakistan Day.Have there been any errors and mistakes the platform made in the past and would rectify now?Each time the edition is held, we learn something new. We’re not perfect, but yes our aim is only to promote our Pakistan culture through fashion, food, art and music which is a major key. This is the biggest pop up exhibition of 2020 which will definitely do justice to our shaan that is Pakistan.What were some of the ethos and principles you stressed on during the press conference in Karachi?The main core element is that it’s not just me responsible for making the venture such a success but my major stakeholders are equally responsible, especially our esteemed executive director Irfan Pardesi from Zee Foundation who has been supportive in our last successful episode of SEPMA. He joined again generously this season and supported my vision to improve trade and create opportunities for small and medium enterprises and also start-ups. We aim to highlight the designers who definitely want to reach the next level. We should focus less on ourselves and more on growing together as one. We are ready to bring a promising season this time.What does Pakistan have to gain from this year’s SP?Pakistan has a lot to gain. We, as a private entity, make a lot of effort to bring out the best of Pakistan and each time we multiply with best talent and make people get recognised because of their work in whatever industry they are from. We have touched the core industry of Pakistan. Last year, it was the music and each year, we identify and boost core areas like fashion, food, property, pharma, beauty products, etc which is the best in Pakistan but needs to be presented in the best way too. I claim that SEP is a branded expo.Huma Nassr also went on to say that the government needs us more than we need them and that SEP 5 was taking place without any government support.SEP 5 will be held in Colombo from March 21-23.A fashion show is scheduled for March 22. There will be a closing ceremony called Aik Shaam Pakistan Kay Naam on March 23rd. Salts Arts would be collaborating with SEP as music curator partners. The fashion show will not only feature local talent like Mushk who will also be hosting the red carpet, but also international models. Ali Xeeshan and Humayun Alamgir would also be sharing the stage. Singer Komal Rizvi, one of the ambassadors of SEP, will also be walking the ramp and singing for the audience. There will also be a cricketers’ meet & greet on the closing night.