Lok Virsa holds consultations countrywide

National Cultural Policy

Staff Reporter

Islamabad—National Institute of Folk and Traditional Heritage, Lok Virsa is holding nation wide consultations to get feed back, comments and recommendations for formulation of National Cultural Policy. On behalf of the Ministry of Information, Broadcasting and National Heritage, the Lok Virsa organized consultation sessions on national cultural policy in Karachi, Gawadar, Multan, Lahore, Islamabad, Quetta, Gilgit Baltistan as the policy has to be presented by the end of March 2016.
Recently, the Prime Minister announced that he will present a National Culture Policy at the end of March 2016. Senator Pervaiz Rashid, Minister for Information, is leading the process and has formed a small core group for the purpose with Executive Director Lok Virsa, Dr Fauzia Saeed in the chair.
The Lok Virsa made an expanded core committee with the popular cultural figures of the country in every related field and started getting their inputs.
“I feel that after devolution the content and the process both need to be very different from any of the exercises that had been done in the past for this purpose. In my conversations with the provincial experts, they all echoed the importance of having a national culture policy and setting our long term priorities together. Several attempts were made including the very first by Faiz Ahmad Faiz in 1974 to put together a cultural policy. We will use all those efforts also and draw upon them too,” says Fouzia Saeed.
In Quetta, Lok Virsa had the first Provincial Consultation with the participation of intellectuals, artists, poets, archaeologists, writers, heads of language academies, scholars, both men and women.
In Multan, the session was held at Multan Arts Council and the stake holders gave the feedback on the policy document. Another Consultation in Peshawar was also held while there were two sessions in Balochistan, Quetta and Gawadar, two in Punjab, Lahore and Multan, two in GB, Gilgit and Skardu, one in KP in Peshawar and one in Sindh in Karachi. In general people actively participated in the process with some representatives of various fields within culture, Jamal Shah, Arieb Azhar, Nadeem Omar, Huma Beg, Farooq Qaiser, Zafrullah Khan, Amir Rana, Daulat Baig,Fatima Atif, Munoo Bhai, Shahid Mehmood Nadeem, Sabir Nazar, Sarwat Ali, Mohd. Waseem, Raffiq Jaffer, Abdur Rauf, Raeke Jamil and many others.
The head of Lahore Museum, Director Archaeology, and the ED of Alhamra also participated enthusiastically. The emphasis was on making an enabling environment and carrying through the commitment to change the mind set.
The participants said the starting point should be children who have to develop a cultural identity and feel rooted in this culture.

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