Films defeat extremism, intolerance, promote culture, national heritage: Marriyum

Minister of State for Information, Broadcasting and National Heritage, Ms Marriyum Aurangzeb in her inaugural address to the Consultative Conference at
Karachi convened for the formulation of the first ever national policy on Film, Production and Broadcast said that the Government would take the ownership of the Industry in line with the vision of Prime Minister Nawaz Sharif who was very keen to set into motion an effective process for its revival.
She said that the purpose of the consultative process was to ascertain the views of all the stakeholders and seek their input with a view to evolve a policy which was comprehensive in scope and could help in achieving the desired objectives.
Marriyum said that Pakistan had a very vibrant and thriving film industry in the sixties and seventies which served as an effective forum not only to provide entertainment to the masses but also to reinforce the cultural values and the national heritage that had a galvanizing impact on national integration and unity.
She lamented the fact that the industry failed to counter the onslaught of the other mediums like internet and the digital technologies in the absence of patronage at the official level and a pragmatic strategy to deal with the emerging challenges.
The continuous nosedive and decline in the film industry was a great national loss in terms of ideological moorings as the new developments obscured the role of the film and broadcast production in promoting and strengthening cultural values and the national heritage, she added.
The minister observed that the emergence of fissiparous tendencies in the society and the narratives of religious extremism and terrorism over the last 35 years were undoubtedly the disastrous consequences of the absence of a powerful medium like films to help in the development of a credible and effective counter-narrative. She said though some brave and enterprising elements were still in the business but their efforts were not enough in the prevailing debilitating environment. Marriyum said that Pakistanis were a resilient nation and the armed forces of the country and its people had given unparalleled sacrifices for eliminating the scourge of terrorism but the Prime Minister felt that only the military muscle of the state was not enough to take the fight against religious extremism and terrorism to its logical conclusion and it needed to be supplemented by an ideological counter-narrative to challenge the narrative of the enemies of the country. —APP

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