Under its new name “Lok Virsa,” the formerly known National Institute of Folk and Traditional Heritage has successfully digitized its musical archives. This development provides music enthusiasts worldwide with access to remarkable recordings from Pakistan’s musical legends.
Salman Sufi, the head of the Prime Minister’s Strategic Reforms Unit, shared this news on August 8 via the platform previously known as Twitter. These archives are now accessible on both YouTube and the Lok Virsa website.
In a video message, Sufi emphasized the cultural significance of music in society, crediting Pakistani artists for creating a captivating realm of melodies that have been celebrated globally. “We invite you to explore the Lok Virsa archives, an institution that has provided a platform to artists from the 1970s until today,” he expressed.
“We have uploaded original recordings of our artists that were previously only available in VHS and analog formats.” This marks the first occasion when Pakistan’s folk treasures are presented to the world through these digital platforms, he noted.
The online Lok Virsa archives feature recordings of renowned artists such as 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, a substantial collection of over 50,000 songs, videos, and behind-the-scenes content will be gradually uploaded. “This project aims to make our music accessible to a global audience while ensuring proper copyright protection. Our artists have given the world phenomenal music. It’s time to share it with everyone.”