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March 30, 2017

Archaeology dept’s ex-DG Shaikh Khurshid Hasan awarded gold medal


March 30, 2017

Shaikh Khurshid Hasan, former director general of the Federal Department of Archeology of Pakistan and archeological adviser of the Quaid-i-Azam Mazar Management Board (QMMB), has been awarded a gold medal by the Nazaria-i-Pakistan Council (NPC), Islamabad, in recognition of the commendable services rendered to the country by authoring several books of international repute on the subject of archaeological and cultural history of the region.

The gold medal was awarded in a solemn ceremony held on March 27, 2017, at the Zahid Malik Hall of the Nazaria-i-Pakistan Council (NPC), Islamabad, by veteran nuclear scientist Dr Abdul Qadir Khan along with Minister of State for Information and Broadcasting Marriyum Aurangzeb.

As many as 16 gold medals in seven categories were conferred on people for their distinguished services to the nation in their respective fields.

Internationally acclaimed Shaikh Khurshid Hasan is a God-gifted person who showed to the world the beauty of our great culture and civilisation through his writings. Sheikh Sahib retired as the director general of the Federal Department of Archaeology after serving it from 1952 to 1988.

During his 36 years of service in the department, he got national and international recognition through his research and work in the rehabilitation and preservation of ancient archaeological sites of the region. 

Several national and international commissions of his department were formed through his recommendations. He also earns the singular honour of being the secretary of the Quaid-i-Azam Relax Commission, established by the Government of Pakistan in 1969.

Though Shaikh Sahib looked into all the aspects of ancient architecture, the rehabilitation and preservation of Islamic art, architecture and monuments were the topics he closely worked on and while working on these subjects he paid many visits to almost all the countries of the Middle East, besides Turkey and Bangladesh, and did a lot of work on the historical and Islamic archaeological sites which were the hallmarks of Islamic culture and civilisation. 

In 1985, Sheikh Khurshid Hasan took the responsibility of preserving the cultural heritage of Bangladesh and Sri Lanka as an archaeological expert of Unesco. His services in this regard were recognised at international level. In recognition of these services, Sheikh was granted a fellowship by the Asiatic Society of London and Pakistan Historical Society. He is the life member of the Institute of Central and West Asian Studies, University of Karachi and the Executive Council Member of the Pakistan Historical Society Karachi.

In 1991, he was appointed as honorary adviser on preservation of ancient archaeological sites to the Quaid-i-Azam  Mazar Management Board (QMBB), where he established Quaid Complex Museum, after a hard work of 10 years. While serving this historical department, he wrote many scholarly articles, essays and thoroughly researched books, which were acknowledged internationally. 

In recognition of his remarkable services in the ancient archaeology, the government of Italy conferred him with the special award of the “Knight of the Order of Merit of the Italian Republic” in 1993. 

Though late, but finally, in recognition of his lifelong invaluable services for this very important field, the Nazaria-i-Pakistan Council conferred him with the gold medal in 2017. 

Addressing the ceremony, Minister of State for Information and Broadcasting Marriyum Aurangzeb said that entire world was amazed over the progress Pakistan had been making despite numerous challenges. “Pakistan will continue making progress under the visionary leadership of Prime Minister Mian Muhammad Nawaz Sharif in years to come,” she said.

While addressing the gold medal award distribution ceremony organised by the Nazriya Pakistan Council (Trust), she said that a terrorism-free Pakistan was quite visible on the horizon under the leadership of the prime minister.

In his address, the founder of Pakistan’s nuclear programme, Dr. Abdul Qadir Khan, said that he along with his team had converted Pakistan into a nuclear and missile power despite meagre resources.

In his welcome address, NPC Chairman Dr Naeem Ghani said that ordinary people of Pakistan deserved recognition for the contribution to the national development and progress achieved in the country. He also said that the younger generation was the pride of the country.

Later, Dr Abdul Qadir Khan, along with Marriyum Aurangzeb, awarded gold medals to the winners. A large number of students from local institutions as well as people from various segments of society participated in the NPC function.

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