Preservation of heritage

Letter October 26, 2021
Preservation of heritage


Gilgit-Baltistan has a unique literary and cultural heritage with almost seventeen different languages being spoken in the region. However, the culture and languages of the region are now being threatened by the spread of English and the homogenisation of cultures through the internet. The creation of community libraries in different parts of the region has promoted reading and education. Due to this Gilgit-Baltistan has fared much better in literacy rates compared to other parts of Pakistan. However, the youth remain unaware of the literary history and prominent personalities of the region.

One way to remember and preserve the history, cultural diversity, and heritage of the region is through the public or community libraries. The Municipal Library of Gilgit also known as Biddulph House Library has an exceptional collection of books as well as other historical documents and manuscripts from the pre-partition era. Unfortunately, now the library is in a poor state and requires funding for maintenance and preservation of the books.

The refurbishment of the library will attract both foreign and local tourists because of its exemplary collection of books and encourage people to read. Also, libraries can be utilised as community centres to initiate other cultural activities and gatherings. Literary festivals at the library can help revive a culture of reading and promote awareness of heritage and culture. I want to urge the Chief Minister of G-B to take concrete steps to preserve the library and protect the heritage of the region.

Shakir Shamim


Published in The Express Tribune, October 27th, 2021.

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