Living history: The house that Dilip Kumar called home

Despite a property dispute, the govt is keen to declare the building a ‘heritage site’.



PESHAWAR:


The former homes of actors Dilip Kumar and Raj Kapoor, nestled in Peshawar’s Qissa Khwani Bazaar, will soon be declared heritage sites by Khyber-Pakhtunkhwa’s archeology directorate. Dr Abdul Samad, director of archeology and museums in K- P, told The Express Tribune that the homes will be labelled heritage sites after the completion of formalities by the revenue department.


Dr Samad said the K-P directorate of culture tried to acquire Dilip Kumar’s house in 2012, but was unable to due to the price tag of Rs80 million and a dispute between the current owner and one of Kumar’s relatives. The government, according to him, has priced the house, located in Mohallah Khudadad, at Rs10.12 million. “The government will utilise the Antiquity Act 1997 to acquire the house and Section 4 of the Land Acquisition Act 1895 will be imposed on both properties,” he said, adding that the owner of Kumar’s house has accepted the government’s price.

Prime Minister Nawaz Sharif declared Kumar’s house national heritage on Friday and asked the ministry of information, broadcasting and national heritage to acquire the property. The Pakistan National Council of Arts was asked to implement the orders.

However, officials said the federal government’s announcement is being taken with a pinch of salt as the department of archeology and heritage has been devolved to the provinces after the 18th Amendment.

They said the government’s order is thus tantamount to a violation of provincial autonomy. “The federal government has to ask the provincial government to acquire the house, it cannot acquire it on its own,” a source said.

In 2012, a relative of Dilip Kumar, Fawad Ishaq, claimed that he has the power of attorney for the property. Ishaq claims the actor wished to donate his house to the people of Peshawar. However, the current owner, Ikramullah, says he possesses proofs, including a sales deed from Dilip Kumar’s father Ghulam Sarwar, saying that the house was first mortgaged by Sarwar in January 1943 for Rs3,000 and later sold for Rs2,000 in February 1944.

Kumar’s house is presently being used as a godown and is in a dilapidated condition.

Published in The Express Tribune, July 13th, 2014.

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