Lok Virsa, formally called the National Institute of Folk and Traditional Heritage, has digitised its musical archives, giving music lovers around the world access to some amazing recordings of Pakistan’s musical legends.
The news was announced on August 8 by Salman Sufi, the head of the Prime Minister’s Strategic Reforms Unit, on the platform formerly known as Twitter. The archives are now available on YouTube and the Lok Virsa website.
In a video message, Sufi said music is the soul of a society and Pakistani artists have created a magical world of screen tunes given the world so much to celebrate.
“We welcome you to experience the archives of Lok Virsa, an entity that had the opportunity to provide a platform to artists from 1970 to now,” he said. “We have uploaded original recordings of our artists that were only available on VHS and in analogue form.”
This is the first time Pakistan’s folk treasure is being presented to the world on these platforms, he added.
The Lok Virsa archives available online include recordings of Rahat Fateh Ali Khan, Abida Parveen, Attaullah Khan Esakhelvi, Ghulam Ali, Iqbal Bano, Mansoor Malangi, Tufail Niazi, Farida Khanum, Pathany Khan and Ustad Salamat Ali.
According to Sufi, over 50,000 songs, videos and behind-the-scenes footage will be uploaded gradually. “This project will make our music available to worldwide audience and ensure it’s copyrighted. Our artists have given the world some phenomenal music. [It’s] time to make it available to everyone.”