Lahore (PR): Punjabi Parchar, an organisation for the promotion of Punjabi language, organised a Visakhi Mela (Spring Festival) at the Punjabi Complex.

Jamshed Iqbal Cheema, a Pakistan Tehreek -e-Insaf leader and Chairman Auriga Group was present as a chief guest at the occasion.

Addressing the gathering in a jam-packed hall, Cheema said: “Like the cultures of other provinces are promoted through local dresses and other traditional items, we should make the struggle to promote the colours of the Punjabi culture.”

The PTI leader said, Visakhi is a festival of Punjab, adding that abandoning the Punjabi language has been disastrous for us and this region.

Addressing the gathering, Punjabi Parchar director Ahmad Raza stressed the need of making Punjabi a compulsory subject on the secondary level, adding that extremism could be eliminated by spreading the message of peace which was given by Punjabi Sufi saints.

Highlighting the importance of Visakhi Mela which marks the harvesting season in Punjab, he said such festivals represent the biggest occupation of Punjab, which is agriculture.

Punjabi Poet Baba Najmi speaking remarked that Punjabi culture has much diversity. It just did not involve the Punjabi language but various other elements such as bhangra, luddi and geets that define the culture and have been passed onto generations for centuries.

Pilac Director Dr Sughra Sadaf, PPP leader Shaukat Basra, actor Nouman Ijaz, senior film/TV actor Rashid Mehmood, Afzal Sehar, current affairs program host Ajmal Jami, drama writer Amir Raza and others spoke on the occasion.

Speakers at colourful Visakhi Mela have pledged to promote the language and culture of Pakistan’s most populous province, Punjab.

During the festival, different literary sessions and traditional music and dances were presented by local artists.