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Pakistani group to perform in Indian drama festival

Pakistan and India may have their decades-long rivalry on contentious political issues, but the track two diplomacy channel via films, arts and music has always provided a solid space for friendship and people to people contact that betrays the diplomatic acrimonies of the two countries.
As India’s prestigious and famed National School of Drama, better known as (NSD) organizes a week-long drama festival in Delhi next January, Pakistani theater group, the National Academy of Performing Art (NAPA), has decided to participate in the festival by performing a series of stage drama shows.
In a telephonic interview with Arab News, NAPA representative Umair Kirmani said that “Mantorama” will be staged during the National School of Drama Festival in Delhi to be held in January next year.
“A large number of drama lovers are expected to watch our performance as Pakistani stage productions are highly appreciated in India. Afterwards it will be performed in Kolkata,” he said.
“This is going to be the third NAPA play in India as we have presented two dramas, Shakuntala and Khwabon Kay Musafir, there before,” he added.
Though cross-culture activities from both countries were halted after the 2008 Mumbai attacks, Kirmani is sure that “these kinds of activities will bring people from both sides closer.”
The Pakistan theatre company has further announced that people of Karachi will enjoy watching their two upcoming dramas, ‘Salgirah’ and ‘Sham Bhi Thi Dhuan Dhuan,’ from Dec. 14 to 23 at The Art Council auditorium. Both plays have been directed by Zia Mohyeddin. ‘Salgirah’ has been written by Indian film director, Jawed Siddique, who is well known for his direction in Bollywood super hit ‘Umrao Jaan.’
‘Sham Bhi Thi Dhuan Dhuan’ is the Urdu translation of a Russian drama written by Aleksei Arbuzov. The translation has been rendered by a Bangladeshi, Rafiq Anjum. It is fascinating to see that people from the three major countries of South Asia ­— Pakistan, India and Bangladesh — are involved in the production of NAPA’s plays. It's further fascinating that both the dramas involve only two characters. The role of a man has been played by Rahat Kazmi while of a woman by Naila Jaffery.
NAPA was established by the former President of Pakistan Gen. Pervez Musharraf in 2005 aiming to teach performing arts and music to local students.