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July 22, 2016

Ebad lauds British Council’s educational and cultural endeavours


July 22, 2016

Governor launches British Council library offering a large digital resource


The culture of Sindh, which is a part of the Indus valley civilisation, is a real treasure and the government of Sindh is determined to preserve it.

This was stated by Sindh Governor Dr Ishratul Ebad Khan while inaugurating the British Council library, which has been reopened after a 15-year closure, on Thursday afternoon.

Appreciating the role of the British Council in the endeavour, he said the British Council was the hub of cultural activity. He lauded the fact that the British Council had been a mighty help to the student community in particular and the public in general since 1947.

Referring to the 15-year closure, the governor said, “The British Council library may have been out of sight but certainly not out of mind.”

Opening of the library, he said, was reflective of the way Britain was interested in cultivating warm cultural ties with Pakistan.

“I welcome the British Council’s commitment towards

creating stronger cultural ties with Pakistan through their new libraries at Lahore and Karachi.”

Later, the governor cut the ribbon to inaugurate the library.

The acting country director of the British Council, Jim Booth, said: “The British Council libraries at Karachi and Lahore will serve as a hub for cultural activity, integration and strengthening of cultural ties between the UK and Pakistan.” 

“The libraries complement our existing efforts to create educational opportunities, share knowledge and

ideas and cultivate an environment for creativity and learning,” he said.

Booth stated that a large digital resource was available that would bring the best of UK and Pakistan content across the country.

Thanking the British Council for the reopening of the library in Karachi, Sharmila Faruqui, special assistant to the chief minister for culture and tourism, recalled how much she had benefited from the British Council Library when it first existed in Karachi.

The newly appointed UK deputy high commissioner, Belinda Lewis, said that the British Council library was a sign of the warm and cordial ties between the UK and Pakistan. 

She termed the library in Karachi an exciting resource and recalled her childhood in her hometown in England,

Newcastle-upon-Tyne, where, she said, she was very particular about using the town library. 

However, she said the town library was old-fashioned, but the library in Karachi promised to be a really revolutionary resource for seekers of knowledge, with its digital characteristics.

Robin Davies, British Council director for Sindh and Balochistan, said that the setting up of the library after a 15-year closure was a new era in the cultural ties between the UK and Pakistan.

Dwelling further on the setting up of the library, he said that it had taken seven-and-a-half months of real hard work to set up the library, and in this context he lauded his team of colleagues who worked hammer-and-tongs to make the endeavour a success. 

“It is more than a book library. It is a cultural experience,” said Davies.

“The reopening of the British Council library will provide a cultural space for the youth of Pakistan to connect, create and innovate,” said Maarya Rehman, director of libraries at the British Council.

There was a video presentation of people in respective fields, notable among them being film maker Sharmeen Obaid Chinoy and Kamila Shamsi praising the efforts of the British Council in the endeavours of education and culture.

The new library is different in many ways from conventional libraries in that it embodies highly revolutionary digital features.

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