Four new offices of PAL to be set up in country’s far flung areas: Irfan Siddiqui

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ISLAMABAD, June 30 (APP): The network of Pakistan Academy of Letters (PAL) will be expanded to the far flung areas of Interior Sindh, FATA, Gilgit Baltistan and Azad Jammu and Kashmir with the budgetary allocations of the year 2017-18.
This was revealed by Advisor to Prime Minister on National History and Literary Heritage (NH&LH), Irfan Siddiqui while talking to APP on Friday.
“The expansion of PAL’ offices network to all the provinces, after the long period of 40 years, will serve as a milestone toward promotion of literary endeavours of the local writers and poets and motivate them to achieve excellence in their work”, he said.
Four new offices of PAL will be set up in Interior Sindh, FATA, Gilgit Baltistan and Azad Jammu and Kashmir while the areas of Dadu, Khyber Agency, Gilgit and Muzzafarabad have been identified for establishing these offices.
Irfan Siddiqui said that the activities of PAL earlier remained limited to the Federal capital and four provinces since its inception in the year 1976.
However, last year, one office of PAL was established in Multan keeping in view the long-standing demand of poets and writers of Southern Punjab, he added.
After establishing four new offices, the overall number of PAL offices will reach up to 10 from five.
Irfan Siddiqui revealed that the work on establishing PAL’s offices along with guest house for literary persons would start soon after completion of land acquisition process.
An amount of 20 million has been allocated for each PAL office, he added.
Irfan Siddiqui said the expansion of PAL’s offices to the far flung areas of the country after the period of 40 years will not only promote Pakistani literature and local languages but also strengthen national harmony and solidarity.
To a question, Irfan Siddiqui said that consultation with the provincial authorities is going on to acquire land for establishing new PAL offices.
Listing the other initiatives taken for promotion of literary activities, Irfan Siddiqui said the amount of monthly stipend for deserving literary persons has been increased up to Rs. 13000 from Rs. 7000 while the number of beneficiaries has also been increased up to 1000 from 500.
The number of beneficiaries of Life Insurance scheme has been increased up to 700 from 354 persons and the amount of insurance scheme has been increased up to Rs. 4, 00,000 from
Rs. 2, 00, 000.
Irfan Siddiqui said the number of awards for literary men in different categories has been increased up to 20 from 11 while Intizar Hussain Award worth Rs. One million will also be conferred from current financial year.