PESHAWAR: In the vibrant tapestry of Pashto cultural Hujra music, the haunting notes of the traditional Sitar are slowly fading, giving way to the resonant strings of the advanced Rabab. Crafted from mulberry wood with a unique design, the Sitar, once a staple in Pashto musical shows, is losing its prominence.

Chitral’s Echo: The Chitrali Sitar, a cherished musical companion in tea houses, not only captivated Chitral but also resonated in Ghizar, Gilgit, Hunza, Khyber Pakhtunkhwa, and Afghanistan. Despite maintaining popularity in Chitrali shows, its usage dwindles elsewhere.

Rise of Rabab: Zainullah, a prominent Sitar player, acknowledges a shift to Rabab due to its double sound compared to the lighter tones of Sitar. While some rural pockets still appreciate Sitar, its decline is evident.

Vanishing Maestros: Renowned Sitar players like Wahab Gul and Shad Mohammad Ustad are fading into obscurity. Despite assurances, cultural bodies neglected preserving their art, leading to the Sitar’s demise.

High Demands, Low Interest: Kirran Khan, a Pashto singer, notes Sitar experts’ high demands, deterring singers from incorporating its sonata. Despite talented players like Gohar Jan and Waqar Attal, Sitar struggles for attention.

Reviving Cultural Heritage: Project Director Arshad Hussain underscores the Culture Department’s efforts to revive Sitar’s glory with a 100-million program. While facing challenges, the government aims to explore and preserve the soul of Khyber Pakhtunkhwa’s music.

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