Karachi, December 24, 2012 (PPI-OT): President Asif Ali Zardari today while underscoring the need for greater research on the cultural heritage of the country has emphasized that the youth needs to be educated in the richness of Pakistan’s cultural heritage.
Addressing the gathering after launching ceremony of the book “Tale of the Tile: The Ceramic Traditions of Pakistan” here at Mohatta Palace tonight, the President said that there was an urgent need to undertake efforts for preservation of the cultural heritage of the country and to arrest the degradation of our cultural heritage as pointed out by the authors of the book.
The President congratulated Mr. Abdul Hamid Akhund and Nasreen Askari, the authors of the book, for their effort in tracing the origin and history of ceramic tiles used in the monuments in Pakistan. The Presidentcomplimented the management of Mohatta Palace Museum and Hameed Haroon for publishing the book.
According to prepared text of his remarks, the President said that research on tiles was a rare subject to write on. He said that the authors by tracing the origin and history of ceramic tiles have traced the history of the art and craft of ceramic tiles.
They have informed us about how the art and craft of ceramic tiles travelled from Central Asia, China and Prussia to Sindh, Multan and Lahore. They have informed us about the origin of the beautiful tiles that we see in the historical shrines, monuments and mosques in Sindh, the President continued.
Lauding the research work, the President said that it was a valuable addition to our literature on national literature. Researchers, historians and academic institutions, he continued, will find it most useful in understanding the cultural heritage of Pakistan.
He said that the authors have also drawn attention to the poor state of our monuments and cultural heritage. There is a need, the President emphasized, to arrest the degradation of our cultural heritage.
The President said that Pakistan is a land of beauty and splendour. He said that ours is the land of Sufis and saints. Our religion and culture teaches us tolerance. He said that Hazrat Data Ganj Baksh, Qalander Lal Shahbaz, Shah Abdul Latif Bhittai, Rehman Baba, Mast Tawakli and Bilawal Faqir, all have preached peace and harmony. We need to imbibe their spirit of tolerance, peace and harmony. The President said that we are passing through turbulent times. The need for imbibing the spirit of tolerance and harmony has never been as great as it is today, he continued.
In his remarks the President said that our writers, artisans, musicians and men and women of arts and crafts deserve to be respected, recognized and helped. He said that recently the Government honored legends including Manto, Mehdi Hassan, Abida Parveen. They, the President said, are all our national heroes and heroines. They have made us proud. We should also honor our craft persons.
The President also said that the Mohatta Palace Museum deserves to be commended for its efforts in highlighting and preserving our cultural heritage. He also appreciated Governor Sindh Dr. Ishrat-ul-Ibad and Chief Minister Sindh Syed Qaim Ali Shah for their support to the Mohatta Palace Museum. Expressing satisfaction on the approval of the Project Document for the culture complex of the Mohatta Palace Museum by the Government of Sindh, the President expressed the hope that the project will be implemented.
While emphasizing upon the need for preservation of the cultural heritage, the President said that after the 18th Amendment the upkeep of monuments and heritage properties is the responsibility of provincial governments. He expressed the hope that the provinces will draw up appropriate plans and adopt suitable legislation for the preservation of cultural heritage.
The President also expressed the hope that the legislation on Protected Heritage Act for which Chief Minister of Sindh had established a committee sometime ago for preparing the draft legislation will be finalized soon in consultation with all stake holders.
On this occasion, the President said that while the primary responsibility of preserving our historical monuments is that of the Government, the people also need to be motivated and made aware of their role in safeguarding these legacies.
Concluding his remarks, the President while congratulating the authors of the book advised the Government to support publication of books like this one.
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