Refocus on literature and culture

PRIME Minister Nawaz Sharif has announced a number of measures to promote art, literature and culture in the country. Inaugurating International Conference on Language, Literature and Society in Islamabad on Thursday, he announced institution of an Endowment Fund worth Rs 500m to help revive literary and cultural organisations and resolve problems of writers, poets and intellectuals. Other incentives include increasing scholarships substantially, raising number of awards and formation of a Committee to suggest measures for welfare of artistes belonging to different disciplines.
As pointed out by the Prime Minister, absence of literary and cultural activities often leads to extremism, terrorism, intolerance, prejudice and sectarianism. Unfortunately, all these vices have afflicted our country, which is fighting menace of extremism, terrorism for the last fifteen years. It is rightly said that promotion of art and culture and literary pursuits can help fight extremist and negative mindset on a sustainable basis. Prime Minister did well by creating a full-fledged division of National History and Literary Heritage under Irfan Siddiqui, who himself is a known literary figure and is well versed with relevant issues. Steps he has so far taken clearly show that he has necessary vision to deliver. Under his guidance, Pakistan Academy of Letters is holding a four-day international conference with the objective of exploring new and innovative trends and challenges of research in Language and Literature across the world and its impact on the society. It is not only serving as an international forum for researchers, scholars, educators, practitioners, postgraduate students and experts in relevant fields to exchange ideas, research, results and good practices but also projects Pakistan’s soft image in the world. The foreign guests would carry goodwill message when they return to their homes and their participation would help dispel some of the wrong notions being propagated against Pakistan by vested interests.

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