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Feature: Flower festival delights people in Pakistani capital

By Jamil Bhatti

ISLAMABAD, March 29 — As a part of its golden jubilee celebrations, a three-day spring flower show was organized at the Rose & Jasmine Garden in the Pakistani capital of Islamabad, taking people out of their homes to the natural green life in spring season.

The 28th annual flower festival, organized by the capital development authority in collaboration with Islamabad Horticulture Society, ended on Sunday and attracted thousands of citizens to its charm and fragrance.

More than 3,000 seasonal flowers of 200 varieties including tulips, snowflakes, daisies, violets, daffodils, irises, columbines, shamrocks, marigolds, pansy and buttercup and many others were handsomely placed in the forms of bed, the national flag, pie shapes and pyramids, conveying message of peace, patriotism, unity, faith and discipline.

"I didn't visit any event like this since long time, but now I am feeling well along with my colleagues and friends around here in blossoming flowers," said Wali Ullah, a student of a local university.

"Weather is very beautiful and I am also very happy because this is not done frequently here in Islamabad," Ali Nasir, a very excited computer engineer, told Xinhua.

"Spring season is a gift from God when colorful flowers leave soothing effects on the heart and soul. My soul also has got refreshed here," said Aslam Baig, a horticulturist and participant in the show, who came from Gujranwala, a city 197 km away from Islamabad in the east Punjab province.

"Other countries of the world are going to the vegetables and fruits but we are not losing our culture that is why we arrange such exhibitions and functions," said Liaqat Ali, a representative of a government institution in the show.

"We are diverting the people to the flowers, when people will come to these positive activities then they will forget terrorism and all other negative things," Ali told Xinhua.

Displaying their skills in fresh flowers, many individuals, school children, hotels, clubs, floriculture farms, nurseries, embassies, airlines, landscape companies, government and non government institutions took part in the exhibition.

Requesting media to focus on such positive aspects other than terrorism, Shumaila Naureen, a lecturer from local girls' college, emphasized the aim of the show. "Its main motto is to promote the positive part of floriculture in daily life besides providing a forum to hobby gardeners for sharing their ideas," he said.

Riaz Bukhari, program coordinator for the show, considered it the most wonderful opportunity for people to get away from depression.

"The main purpose of the show is to encourage the malies (gardeners), horticultural people, and hobby gardeners to display their expertise and to win prizes," Bukhari added.

After watching hundreds of beautiful shades, many of visitors from different segments of the terror-hit country, especially the students, women and children hoped that such type of events will be held in future as well. (PNA/Xinhua)

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