‘Pakistan needs to accept changing nature of culture’

Published: November 23, 2016

KARACHI: The country needs to accept the ever-changing nature of culture, said the secretary of the culture, tourism and antiquities department, Ghulam Akbar Leghari, on Tuesday, while discussing the impact of culture on society.

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He was addressing the audience at a workshop held by the United Nations Educational, Scientific and Cultural Organisation (Unesco) at Pakistan Institute of Tourism and Hotel Management in Clifton. Leghari was of the opinion that culture defines the individual of any society, while celebrating culture and streamlining it through policy will ensure protection of identity and add to the overall quality of life in Pakistan. He further said that a national and provincial cultural policy will provide provisions to ensure that the true essence of Pakistani culture remains constant, despite external changes.

Sindh government and public institutions officials, representatives of the academia and civil society organisations took part in the workshop to discuss ‘Participatory Policy Design for Culture and Creative Sector’ and to raise awareness on the Unesco convention of 2005.

Unesco Pakistan is currently in consultation with the multi-stakeholders from the culture and creative industry of Pakistan at national and provincial levels to shape public policies. These policies are specifically being tailored to support the creative sector and to raise awareness about the importance of Unesco’s convention on Protection and Promotion of the Diversity of Cultural Expressions, held in 2005. UNESCO, Pakistan, inaugurated the two-day workshop for the purpose in Karachi on Tuesday, while a similar workshop was held in Peshawar last week.

Before this workshop, countrywide consultations were held in July this year in Lahore, Karachi and Islamabad. These were organised with the support of Centre for Culture and Development, which were funded by the Danish government.

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An expert from Unesco, Andrew Senior, and a consultant, Salman Asif, briefed the participants on the understanding of policy creation and how culture can be streamlined into policy. The workshop was attended by representatives of the Sindh government, academia and creative entrepreneurs, who appreciated the prospect of protecting and promoting Sindhi culture.

Published in The Express Tribune, November 23rd, 2016.

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