President to attend Navroz Festival during two-day Turkmenistan visit

ASHGABAT: President Asif Ali Zardari will leave to attend, along with other leaders of the Central Asian Republics, the International Nowruz Festival being hosted by Turkmenistan.

The International Nowruz festival will be attended by leaders and representatives from Tajikistan, Iran, Afghanistan and Pakistan, as well as high-ranking government delegations from Central Asian states on March 21.

President Zardari during his stay, will also have a meeting with his Turkmen counterpart Gurbanguly Berdimuhammedov, Pakistan’s Ambassador in Ashghabat Tassaduq Hussain told APP.

He said that the event would be a good exercise in further promoting multilateral ties with the Central Asian Republics that have deep historical, religious and cultural ties with Pakistan.

He said the President’s visit, despite his heavy engagements during the forthcoming general elections, reflected the importance Pakistan accorded to its ties with the regional countries.

The delegates will participate in the International Conference to be held at the Rukhyet Palace on the theme of peace and humanity. Each head of delegation will address the gathering. They will later witness the activities of the festival. Later the President of Turkmenistan will host a banquet in honour of the visiting delegates.

President Zardari also participated in the Nowruz festival in 2012 in Dushanbe, as the event allows close interaction among the leaders and helps foster stronger bilateral ties.

The decision to host the event this year in Turkmenistan was taken at an international conference held in Dushanbe in 2012 that formally accorded approval to the holding of the 2013 international holiday.It was also agreed to host the 2014 Nowruz international holiday in the Afghan capital.

The day reflects the Spring Holiday, a holiday of New Year in many nations of the world, that has been celebrated for over 5000 years. Various activities during the festival include a scientific conference, concerts, exhibitions, contests, presentations and meetings and will focus on presenting to the world the Turkmen traditions.

The Nowruz holiday has been included to the UNESCO list of non-tangible cultural heritages, with the support of 24 states, and 300 million people living in Central, Eastern, Southern, Near Asia, Africa, Caucasus, Middle East and some parts of Europe celebrate the International Day.

The objective of the festivity is to create awareness in the society about the importance of truth, justice, peace, philanthropy and positive thinking. The festivities have traditionally been held in Iran, Afghanistan, Armenia, Georgia, Iraq, Kazakhstan, Kosovo, Kyrgyzstan, Russia, Syria, Tajikistan, Turkmenistan, and Uzbekistan.