LAHORE: The Punjab Advisory Council, a committee established by Former Information and Culture Minister Punjab Fayyazul Hasan Chohan for the welfare of the theatre industry, has been dissolved. Its chairman Anas Daula was suspended and the committee was terminated due to poor performance.
This decision was taken by the Punjab Information and Culture Department immediately upon Chohan's resignation. However, Daula claims that it was his decision to step down from all three posts, alleging that he was not suspended.
Sources provide that all the members of the committee were removed because instead of providing positive results, issues within the theatre industry were increasing day by day and so, various artists began demanding the termination of the council.
Insiders from the Information and Culture department further provide that a new committee will soon be established under the supervision of newly appointed Punjab Information and Culture Minister Samsam Bukhari. Professionals from the theatre industry will be included therein.
It is pertinent to mention here that Chohan established the council specifically for the welfare of the theatre industry, to streamline the affairs of the commercial theatre. It had some 34 members, including Irfan Khoosat, Iftikhar Thaukar, Honey Albela and Nasir Chinoti.
However, many artists failed to attend numerous council meetings as they did not agree with the appointment of political workers within the council. After its establishment, the artist community carried out protests and expressed various concerns that most of the committee members, especially its chairman, were not from theatre. Many claimed Daula was hired on a political basis.
“The main reason for the poor performance was friction between the council members," a senior official at the Information and Culture Department told The Express Tribune. "Moreover, there wasn't really anyone in this council who actually understood the real issues of the theatre industry. And the fact that Daula was appointed on political grounds just added fuel to the fire. Theatre artists protested several times against the council as their performance overall was unsatisfactory."
The official also shared that the Punjab Information and Culture Department will soon appoint a new council and senior artists from the theatre industry for the new committee. "Besides this, the department will also streamline artists' health insurance," added the source. "The musical programme Voice of Punjab will also be improved. This is an initiative by the government that will be held according to the provided schedule, under the supervision of the newly appointed Information and Culture Minister."
The source continued that a meeting will soon be held for the welfare of the theatre and showbiz industry.
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