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Shafqat Amanat Ali pays homage to Gandhi by singing his favourite hymn

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Renowned Pakistani singer, Shafqat Amanat Ali, who is also popular across the border for his soulful voice, recently paid homage to Gandhi on the occasion of his 150th birth anniversary on October 2.

A video of Ali performing Gandhi’s favourite hymn Vaishnav Jan To Tene Kahiye was shared by the High Commission of India, Islamabad on Youtube.

Amanat Ali’s performance was well-received and Indian musician, Vishal Daldani was all praises for the performance writing, “My friend Shafqat Amanat Ali sings Vaishnav Jan, Gandhi ji‘s favourite bhajan, and proves pretty conclusively, as he always does, that music is both, “ibaadat’ (worship) and “bhakti” together!”

To this Amanat replied, “I haven’t heard a more beautiful description of this rendition. Means a lot coming from you Vishal Dadlani and thank you for always being so generous with your appreciation brother! Hope this initiates efforts for peace and hope to see you soon in Lahore.”

Shafqat’s rendition was part of a global chorus mash-up in honour of ‘bapu‘s’ 150th birthday.

The chorus helmed by the Indian Ministry of External Affairs (MEA) paid a tribute to the revolutionary leader with a video mash-up featuring voices and tunes from across the world. Artists from almost 124 countries, including Sri Lanka, Pakistan, Maldives, Nepal, China, Germany, Saudi Arabia, and Portugal were part of the rendition released by PM Narendra Modi during the closing of the four-day Mahatma Gandhi International Sanitation Conference that was held in New Delhi.

The Indian Ministry of External Affairs (MEA) in a statement said, “The result is an eclectic, colourful and rich rendition infused with the local flavor of the region.”

Shafqat’s performance was noted an applauded by people across the world who took to Twitter to express their thoughts.

Listen to the mash-up here:

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Laal Kabootar Wins At Vancouver International South Asian Film Festival

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The highly critically acclaimed Pakistani feature film, LAAL KABOOTAR won the Best Feature Film Award at the Vancouver International South Asian Film Festival 2019. Director Kamal Khan received the award on the Closing Night & Awards Ceremony held at Surrey City Hall in Surrey, British Columbia on 17th November 2019. Laal Kabootar is Nehr Ghar Films’ debut production.

The film, which is also the official submission of Pakistan for the 92nd Academy Awards in the ‘International Feature Film Award’ category, have also grabbed the Archana Soy Audience Award for ‘Best Feature Film’ at the Tasveer South Asian Film Festival 2019 in Seattle earlier this year.

Previously, Laal Kabootar was an official selection at the Singapore South Asian International Film Festival 2019 and also at the Washington DC South Asian Film Festival 2019. In Washington DC the  lead actor of Laal Kabootar Ahmed Ali Akbar, won the ‘Best Actor Male’ Award for his performance.

Laal Kabootar was released in March 2019 in Pakistan and so far, critiques have credited it as the best Pakistani movie of this year.

The film is a rollercoaster ride featuring Ahmed Ali Akbar as Adeel Nawaz – a hustling taxi-driver, looking for a way out of Karachi. But with his back against the wall, Adeel has some hard choices to make. Aliya Malik, played by the alluring Mansha Pasha, is strong-headed to the point of being stubborn, however when her world turns upside down in a series of incidents, she chooses to put up a fight even though her life is on the line.

With its action-packed sequences and blinding pace, the flick also stars multi-talent actors such as Rashid Farooqui, Saleem Meraj, Ali Kazmi, Shamim Hilali, Akbar Islam, Syed Arsalan, Saad Fareedi, Hammad Siddiq, Ishtiaq Omar, Meesum Naqvi, Faiza Gillani, Mohammed Ahmed and Kaleem Ghour to name a few.

Laal Kabootar has been directed by the award-winning Kamal Khan with Harvard graduates Hania Chima and Kamil Chima as the Executive Producers.

So far no Pakistani film has ever made it to final nominations at Oscars, however with Laal Kabootar, Pakistani Cinema lovers are keeping their fingers crossed.

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SOLIS: ULTIMATE SHOW OF ARTS AND MUSIC

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The third instalment of Solis Music and Arts Festival 2019 took place in Karachi at the Moin Khan Stadium on Saturday November 16th, truly a day to remember in the history of city! The festival featured a stellar line-up of local and international artists as well as immersive brand activations. The PR of the event was managed by Catalyst PR. The hosts Anoushey Ashraf and Khalid Malik kept energy high all through the night.

The day started  with 42 Day Challenge founder Nusrat Hidayatullah with the help of Ayesha Omer who warmed up festival attendees  with an animal flow yoga session on the sounds of Soul Potion (one half of the FDVM duo).

As day turned to dusk, a listing of local talent took over the stage to ease into the night. Neha Khan brought in some chilled lounge vibes while DJ Maleo warmed up the crowd for Turhan James, who already have played at Solis Islamabad and Lahore this year. He brought in an epic big room EDM set featuring his new song “Feel Alive” to which the crowd went wild!

For this edition of Solis, the festival explored an eclectic mix of international sounds. Hailing from Turkey, Oceanvs Orientalis brought in an interesting mix of electro – oriental sounds, some of which were inspired from Pakistan electronic.

The dynamic FVDM duo known for their groovy contagious vibe and uplifting house music did just that! The crowd was absolutely besotted with their set especially when they added in their remix of Pakistani iconic hits such as Disco Deewane by Nazia Hassan and Bibi Sherene.  The surprises didn’t stop there as they introduced Ayesha Omer on stage to showcase their first ever collaboration “Flying so High”.

Kill the Buzz delivered dance floor shakers to get the crowd warmed up for the main act of the night- Clean Bandit live in action with a DJ set led by Luke Patterson and vocals with Yasmin Green and Kirsten Joy. Dressed in an all neon ensemble, the group was truly the centre of attention enchanting the crowd with their top hits and a surprise sneak peak at their VIP remix of Rockabye, the classic which is still on youtubes top 30 most watched videos.

The evening was a star studded night with celebrities such as Mehwish Hayat, Saqib Malik, Deepak Perwani, Mansha Pasha, Nadia Hussain, Zhalay Saradi, Tara Mehmood, Shahzad Noor, Asim raza and many more. The mayor of Karachi Waseem Akhter and his wife also present the occasion.

The Solis team can’t wait to share some exciting news for 2020! Stay tuned.

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Finding Solace at a Roadside Eatery

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We have become addicted to fine dines so much that we cannot digest the calories that we may eat on roadside cafes, golgappa cart or an average looking restaurant. Lahore, that was once, known for great food has now limited its glory to a good ambiance and expensive rates. We immediately start doubting the food that we get at a comparatively low price. This custom was broken by Jay Bee’s when they started selling the most delicious ice cream with a price starting from 100.
Such places give us hope that you can find good food at a cheap price as well. This does not have to have a tag of being so costly. The restaurants have stopped putting extra effort while still keeping the rates low for the general public. Instead of improving their qualities, they have started using techniques to put them in limelight. Instead of providing good food, the only purpose is to make double money. They have started relying on activities like “live music”, a food challenge or a stand-up comedy. No doubt, these activities put an extra oomph to the overall experience of a restaurant, nevertheless, they cannot compensate for bad food.


All my assumptions were smashed when I tried this delicious Sajji by a roadside restaurant with the name “Akram Tikka Shop”. To my surprise, they were serving hot food with exceptionally great customer service. The way they were greeting their customers broke the record of any good high priced restaurant. Not just this, their freshly made tikka was so appetizing that we couldn’t stop ourselves from overeating. If you want to check how involved the restaurant is to provide you with fresh and hygienic food, you should check their salads. Raw food is the best way to check the common practices of a restaurant. This eatery did not disappoint us even with the salad and raita.


The warm breast piece tucked away in a heap of scrumptiously made rice only under Rs. 200 is not less than a heavenly experience. Their customer-focused service makes the whole experience a treat to the buds.
If you ever go to Mehmood Kasuri road, do not forget to stop by at Akram Tikka Shop for great and hygienic food service.

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