Calligraphers rejoice at realization of their decade-old dream

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Irfan Siddiqui inaugurates calligraphy wing at NLPD

Zubair Qureshi

Calligraphers across the country have expressed their joy at recognition of the Islamic art of calligraphy at the highest level as the government took the first practical step towards preservation and promotion of calligraphy here on Wednesday and set up a separate wing ‘Calligraphy Wing’ at the National Language Promotion Department (NLPD) headed by eminent poet Iftikhar Arif. This is a decade-old dream finally come true, they termed.
Adviser to Prime Minister on National History and Literary Heritage (NH&LH), Irfan Siddiqui inaugurated the Calligraphy Wing. Noted calligraphers Rasheed Butt, Ilahi Bukhsh Mati, Khalid Yousafi and others graced the occasion and lauded the adviser to PM’s efforts in this regard. They also commended Iftikhar Arif for coming one step forward to set up the calligraphy and provide the students of calligraphy and the budding calligraphers to learn and practice the art of calligraphy.
One could see galaxy of eminent scholars and writers gracing the occasion. They included Chairman of Pakistan Academy of Letters Dr Qasim Bughio, Managing Director of National Book Foundation (NBF) Dr Inam-ul-Haq Javed, Akhtar Waqar Azeem, Mehboob Zafar, Dr Jamal Nasir and others.
Speaking on the occasion, Irfan Siddiqui hoped that the first practical step towards preservation and promotion of Islamic art would go a long way and the calligraphers would soon have their separate institute. It will serve as catalyst for promotion of this glorious and ancient art and inspire younger generation to explore the intricacies of this unique art, he said.
“Art of Calligraphy was originated followed by revelation of Islam. Calligraphy is not merely an art but it is a legacy of the companions of Prophet Muhammad (Peace Be Upon Him)”, observed Irfan Siddiqui adding the aspects of beauty, spiritualism, sacredness and respect are embedded in the art of calligraphy. Pakistani calligraphers have recognized themselves through their artistic abilities at national and international without any government patronage, he said.
Irfan Siddiqui said the NH&LH division has compiled a directory of Pakistani calligraphers with their details and pictures which will be printed within a month. The directory will carry information about around 320 calligraphers and its objective is to give recognition to the calligraphers and encourage their artistic endeavours, he said. Director General, NLPD and acclaimed poet of the country, Iftikhar Arif thanked Adviser to Prime Minister for his vision and for the establishment of this Calligraphy Wing at NLPD.