Defining heritage: Activists demand formulation of a cultural policy

Needed to address issues of art, artists in war-torn province, say proponents.

Our Correspondent February 01, 2015
Speakers said the event was organised to bring to light issues pertinent to culture. PHOTO: EXPRESS

PESHAWAR: Cultural activists of Khyber-Pakhtunkhwa (K-P) asked the provincial government on Sunday to formulate a ‘K-P culture policy’.

“A comprehensive policy is needed to address issues related to art and artists of the war-affected province,” said Ihtisham Toru, a member of a cultural forum, at an event at Peshawar Press Club on Sunday.

The draft of K-P cultural policy has been on the back burner for the last one decade. The former government of ANP had formulated the draft after long discussions but could not present it in the assembly.

However, the current Pakistan Tehreek-e-Insaf-led (PTI) government has put the draft aside, making the cultural directorate a dormant body.

“People are playing with our culture in the name of entertainment and there is no authority to stop them,” said Toru.

There should be strict laws to stop those who are maligning our culture, he added.

“In a situation where the government does nothing to promote art, we have to work towards preserving our culture to counter extremism,” said Toru.

Speakers said the event was organised to bring to light issues pertinent to culture.

They want the K-P government to focus on arts and culture legislations.

Cultural activists Rokhan Yousufzai and Sher Alam who were also present on the occasion said the PTI-led government in the province has done nothing for the welfare of artists, some of whom are living in impoverished conditions.

MPA Shah Farman had earlier said the government would reconsider the draft of cultural policy after consulting relevant stakeholders.

Published in The Express Tribune, February 2rd, 2015.


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