Islamabad: Federal Minister for National History and Literary Heritage (NH&LH), Shafqat Mehmood Monday constituted different committees for preparing a detailed report on different identified state buildings in the main cities of the country and submit within the time period of two weeks.
The minister was chairing the first meeting of the committee to suggest best possible utilization of important buildings of the country.
The meeting was held at NH&LH division and attended by Federal Secretary for NH&LH division, Engineer Aamir Hasan, Joint Secretary, Syed Junaid Akhlaq and other members from different cities.
It was decided in the meeting that the committee members of their respective cities will visit these building and prepare a detailed report based on number of employees, condition and historical significance of these buildings and come up with different suggestions to decide better utilization of these buildings either for academic, cultural or any other constructive purpose.
The buildings so far identified for conversion into public friendly institution like museum, hotel, cultural complex or any research institute included Prime Minister’s House, Islamabad, Governors Houses at Lahore, Karachi, Quetta, Peshawar, Murree and Nathia Gali, Chief Ministers Office Lahore, State Guest House at Lahore and Karachi, Shahi Mahman Khana at Peshawar, Punjab House at Rawalpindi, Islamabad and Murree, Qasr-e-Naz, Karachi and Chamba House, Lahore.
Chairing the meeting, Federal Minister for NH&LH Division, Shafqat Mehmood said it is a state of urgency when the newly elected government has to come up to the expectations of the public in the short time of 100 days.
We have to give a message to the nation that we will not spend money on high or luxurious living. Converting these buildings into public friendly institutions will help achieve the objectives of austerity as well as benefit the public for whom these institutions were established, he said.
The federal minister directed the members to form a social media group linking all the members to share daily progress of the given task. Besides this, he said, an inventory of old, historical and under-utilized buildings across the country will also be made in future to restore and utilize those in better way.
Shafqat Mehmood also said that the cultural institutions of Lok Virsa and Pakistan National Council of the Arts (PNCA) will be brought under the heritage division due to their relevance to this division.
Shafqat Mehmood who is also Federal Minister for Education and Professional Training said, there are massive challenges the government has to address on educational fronts.
The major challenges, he said, included enrolment of 25 million out of school children, implementing a national level syllabus to end discrimination, raising standard of education and promotion of skill-based education.
He said the present government is fully cognizant of its responsibilities and will bring huge reforms in education sector.
The members of the formed committees included Architect (Lahore), Nayyar Ali Dada, Artist (Lahore), Rashid Rana, Businessman (Karachi), Shamoon Sultan, Architect/ Educationist (Lahore), Omar Hassan, Scientist (Peshawar), Dr.
Faisal Khan, Designer (Peshawar), Naeem Safi, Visual Artist (Quetta), Akram Dost Baloch, Visual Artist (Quetta) Akram Dost Baloch, Architect (Karachi), Samar Ali Khan, Architect Heritage Consultant, Marvi Mazhar and others.
These members will work as team in their respective cities, visit the buildings and prepare a report which will be submitted to the Federal Minister in next meeting. During the meeting, the members appreciated the vision of the government as well as the steps being taken for utilizing important buildings for general public and urged the minister to give legal cover to all these decision so that no one can revert such decision in future.
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