MULTAN, (Pakistan Point News - APP - 23th August, 2016) : Since its start from Margalla to Multan, Azadi Train continued to present a festive look, radiating an aura of loyalty and depicting cultures and lifestyles of the people of Pakistan living in different regions of the country. At every station till Multan or even when the train was in motion, we witnessed boys and girls with their faces painted in green and white depicting Pakistani flag besides young men, women and the elderly people, waving hands to the Azadi Train passengers.
At many places, zealots were seen waving Pakistani flags and raising slogans, Pakistan Zinda Baad, Amir, a member of the security staff deputed at Azadi Train told APP. Meanwhile, the train left Multan at 11am Wednesday for its next destination, Shujabad, amid noisy cheers from school children, who were there to have a look at the Azadi Train and were seen taking selfies with cultural and historical floats providing the background to preserve the memories.
"It was not all. As the train left Cantonment Railway Station Multan, there were people standing some distance away from the track particularly villagers waving hands at us as they ran with the train raising pro-Pakistan slogans," says Akhtar, a media representative aboard the Azadi Train. A team of Pakistan National Council of Arts (PNCA) was also aboard the train with an elaborate schedule of entertainment programmes being implemented at almost all railway station and Multan was no exception.
Multanites were enthraled by the national and popular songs, sung by folk singers from all four provinces besides Azad Jammu and Kashmir and Gilgit-Baltistan, while artistes from National Puppet Theatre entertained the people in their unique way. Jassim Abbasi, the man leading the PNCA team, said "We are one under Pakistani flag" was the theme of their songs and the puppet show. He said that folk singers Fazal Abbas Jatt (Punjab), Khan Shahid Ali Khan (KPK), Liaquat Ali (Balochistan), Bhaag Chand (Sindh), Raja Imran (AJK) and Ijaz Hussain from Gilgit-Baltistan sang national songs as well as popular songs in regional languages and urdu.
They sang songs in Punjabi, Sindhi, Balochi, Pashto languages. Ijaz Hussain sang songs in Balti language, while Raja Imran in Kashmiri. "We are also hiring local singers who perform at their respective railways stations. We are planned to hire singer at Dera Ghazi Khan to sing songs in Seraiki language too," Jassim said. A young girl, Asma, clad in 'Burqa' as per local traditions was accompanying her family to watch Azadi Train with a Branula needle pierced into and bandaged on her right hand.
The girl said, she was excited and curious to watch Azadi Train. "She has just left hospital to see all this," her elderly father told this news agency. A class one student forced her father Muhammad Nawaz to leave his burger business unattended and take her to Azadi Train in Multan, some 25 kilometres away from their hometown Makhdoom Rasheed. Romesa and Nyla, studying in Matric and FA, accompanying other relatives said they were excited to watch real face of their beautiful country for the first time on cultural floats of Pakistan Railways.
It's all amazing to see cultural floats decorated with replicas of Korakoram peak, emerald mines of Jamrud, Baltit Fort of GB, Shuhada Chowk of Army martyrs and Qissa Khawani Bazaar in Peshawar, Muzaffarabad bridge, Shikara, a unique boat of Kashmir, Mazar-e-Quaid, Quaid-e-Azam Residency, Kojak tunnel, Bab-e-Khyber and much much more in galleries, said Romesa adding: "Our country is so beautiful and we love it."