A campaign to preserve and promote the 5,000-year old Indus Valley Civilization in south Pakistan was launched on Sunday night in the country's southern port city of Karachi.
Patron-in-Chief of the Pakistan's Peoples Party (PPP), the ruling party in the southern province of Sindh, Bilawal Bhutto Zardari launched the drive saying "We want to promote culture for peace."
"Our rich culture and heritage are endangered and the biggest threat to civilization and culture is terrorism, and we know we can save it, and we shall not allow militants to impose their culture through the barrel of a gun," said Bilawal, the son of former President Asif Ali Zardari and slain former Prime Minister Benazir Bhutto.
Bilawal, who hosted and anchored the ceremony at the Mohatta Palace in Karachi, briefed the audience about the history and importance of the culture besides vowing to preserve the 2600 B.C. archeological site of Mohenjo-Daro, some 430 kilometers away from Karachi.
UNESCO World Heritage Site Mohenjo-Daro, one of the largest settlements of the ancient Indus Valley Civilization, was abandoned in the 19th century B.C. and was not rediscovered until 1922.
For the first time in the country's history, a series of celebrations and cultural competitions in connection with the preservation campaign named "Sindh Festival" will be kicked off in the first week of February next year and will continue for two weeks in different parts of the province.
The festival will comprise of horse and cattle grand prix, local poetry reading events, folk music nights, local fashion, Sindh international film festival, and the competitions of donkey cart race, deep sea fishing and kite flying.
Besides having children arena and finest foods stalls, the festival will also support the women of the region who will merchandise their handicrafts.
The Sunday night launching ceremony was started with the performances of centuries-old traditional singing and dancing at the beats of folk music. The occasion was attended by chief minister of the Sindh province, political leaders, ministers, foreign diplomats, famous sportsmen, showbiz celebrities and media persons.
Bilawal also invited prime minister Nawaz Sharif and other Pakistanis to join the campaign and celebrations to preserve, promote and protect the rich heritage of the region, and to educate the youth about the culture.