Declaration of Lahore as a ‘city of literature’ a delightful step: Firdous

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Staff Reporter

Special Assistant to Chief Minister on Information Dr Firdous Ashiq Awan has said the historic city of Lahore is the cultural capital of South Asia due to its rich culture, art and traditions. However, there is a need to globally project this treasure-trove of gardens, historical sites and literary centers to boost tourism. She said this while addressing the unveiling ceremony of the plague of “Lahore – Pakistan’s First City of Literature” at Alhamra on Wednesday. Director/Representative of UNESCO in Pakistan Ms Patricia McPhillips, Commissioner Lahore Zulfiqar Ghuman and a host of literacy figures were also present.

Addressing the occasion, Dr Firdous said the declaration of Lahore as a ‘City of Literature’ by UNESCO is a delightful step as Lahore has the honour of being the first city of literature in Pakistan. Lahore’s literary festivals, mushairas and countless literary events are acknowledged internationally as UNESCO has declared Lahore a ‘City of Literature’. Now, the poets, writers and eminent personalities should play their role to maintain this honour, she said.

The Special Assistant said the government is going to reshape historic ‘Urdu Bazaar’ to make it attractive for book-lovers. Likewise, the historic ‘Hazuri Bagh’ was being restored as a public and literary site, she added. Various historical manuscripts will also be translated into major languages of the world, she said. The SACM said eminent personalities that remained associated with Lahore have earned a niche in the world.

Dr Firdous said Alhamra Arts Council, PUCAR and other institutions are playing their role in showcasing the rich culture of Lahore, adding that international film and music festivals will also be held to introduce Pakistan’s cultural activities globally. Meanwhile, ‘International Iqbal Conference’ and other literary events will also be arranged in Lahore in the days to come, she added.

Lahore is a rich city in terms of literature, culture and art but the government is trying to make it an ideal city in every manner, added SACM. Dr Firdous said the PM Imran Khan has inaugurated Ravi Riverfront Urban Development project to restore the historical grandeur of the city of Lahore and to improve the environment of the city, adding the project will also employ 1.2 million people.

Later, talking to the media in an event organized by the Liberty Market Traders Association, the Special Assistant said the PTI has been given a mandate to fix the irregularities and embezzlements of the former rulers, adding that Imran Khan is busy doing surgery of this rotten system and surgery is a painful process.

Dr Firdous said the PM is waging jihad against corruption in the Senate election and it will soon be clear to the people who are in favor of ‘show of hand’ and who are in favor of ‘corruption’. The corrupt gang of the opposition wants to hold the institutions’ hostage, she said. She said Daud Sulemani, a PTI MPA from DG Khan, will soon pledge allegiance to the Chief Minister Usman Buzdar. The SACM said the land mafia against whom Imran Khan has waged a war also held the businessmen of Punjab hostage but now the traders have expressed full confidence in the business-friendly policy of the Prime Minister. She said the business community has lauded the efforts of the Chief Minister for amending the tax laws to facilitate businesses.

With the introduction of technology, transparency is being ensured in the tax collection system, she said. The SACM said the Chief Minister has launched a special program in 13 districts of the province to revive the cottage industry.

Dr Firdous said that unfortunately four people lost their lives due to the protocol of Kashmala Tariq. She said the President of Pakistan will send a reference to remove Kashmala from office and the cabinet has issued directions to the Law Ministry in this regard.