A wave of deadly terrorist attacks that has killed hundreds across Pakistan has led to the cancellation of the country's biggest cultural festival for the first time in 26 years.
"The World Performing Arts Festival will not be held this year due to terror threats," Faizan Pirzada, creative director of Rafi Peer Theatre Workshop, which organises the event, said on Friday.
"The present circumstances in the country are not encouraging for holding an international cultural festival," he said.
Another reason cited by Pirzada for the cancellation of the festival scheduled to be held during December 19-24 was "financial constraints".
"We were expecting that the government would support the festival that had put Pakistan on the global cultural map but we received nothing from it except promises," he said, adding that he did not want to blame anyone specifically.
"We had written letters to the President, Prime Minister, Governor and Chief Minister of Punjab seeking financial support and foolproof security to keep the event on track but there was no response from them," he said.