Staff Reporter

Thrissur: Pakistani dramatist Shahid Nadeem has said that liberal forces are active in Pakistan. He was addressing a seminar on ‘Theatre in times of globalisation’ at the Second International Theatre Festival of Kerala here on Monday.

“The very fact that Ajoka Theatre, which has criticised religious fundamentalism and hypocrisy, exists shows that Pakistan is not a totally closed society. The troupe has survived mainly on the support of a section of people who are progressive. There have been bomb threats at the troupe’s shows. Once at Lahore, a show was cancelled. The next day, an unprecedented crowd turned up to watch the play. It shows our views are shared by a large number of people,” he said. He said that one of the significant achievements of Ajoka Theatre had been its cultural links with India, Bangladesh and many other countries.

“The Ajoka has been an ambassador for peace. India has always welcomed Pakistani performers warmly. Large audiences watched Ajoka’s plays at Punjab, Jammu and Srinagar.

Ajoka had worked with Bangladeshi actors in a play that dealt with trafficking of women from Bangladesh. It was a nice experience. Bangladeshis had apprehensions about Pakistanis. The fears vanished when they worked with us,” he said.

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