ISLAMABAD, Dec 11 (APP):Minister of State for Information, Broadcasting, National History and Literary Heritage has said that during the last 35 years the scourge of terrorism had damaged Pakistani Culture, Heritage and Film Industry like a termite.
She was addressing the inaugural ceremony of the seven-day Iranian film festival here today jointly organized by the Pakistan Council of the Arts and the Cultural Wing of the Iranian Embassy.
Marriyum observed that during the last four and half years the government through an effective strategy, in line with the vision of the former prime minister Muhammad Nawaz Sharif, had broken the back of the terrorists and incidents of terrorism had been considerably reduced.
She said that the armed forces of Pakistan and the people had rendered unparalleled sacrifices to quell terrorism and the journey was still on and the people now had to achieve success in the war of perception. The minister said that due to the peaceful conditions international sports, festivals and other international activities had been revived. She said that the visit of international cricket and football teams was a ranting testimony of peaceful conditions in the country.
She informed the audience that the former Prime Minister had announced a package of concessions for the revival of the film Industry adding that films could play an effective role in projecting positive identity and image of the country at the international level. The minister said that the establishment of a Film Directorate was also being contemplated.
She said that the Ministry of Information and Broadcasting was making strenuous efforts to revive the film industry and the package that the former prime minister announced for the revival of the film industry included many concessions and tax rebates on the production of films. The minister proposed that a similar festival of Pakistani movies should also be held in Iran.
The minister observed that during the sixties and seventies Pakistan had a thriving film industry but the scourge of terrorism had almost destroyed the culture, heritage and film industry of the country.
She thanked the Iranian government for holding the film festival and also directed DG PNCA to dedicate at least two days for the students of the colleges and universities of the twin cities whenever such cultural activities or film festivals of the friendly countries were held at the PNCA so that the youth who constituted 65% of the population could also know about their culture. The minister observed that the Iranian film Industry had become a popular and Oscar winning entity in a very short span of time. The Iranian films were depicting glimpses of the culture of the country and its family values, she added.
The Iranian ambassador to Pakistan Mehdi Hunermand speaking on the occasion said that holding of the Iranian film festival in Pakistan was an honour for Iran and the promotion of the Iranian films was tantamount to preservation of the Iranian culture and values. He said that Iran was keen to promote and strengthen its cultural ties with Pakistan and the Iranian film festival would promote understanding of the Iranian culture.
DG PNCA Jamal Shah informed the audience that the Iranian film festival would continue for seven days and during the first two days Iranian films would be screened at the PNCA. He said that Iran was among the important film making countries of the world and pointed out that the central theme of the Iranian movies pertained to protecting the society against use of drugs, corruption and social evils.
He said that those movies were having a very positive impact on the Iranian society. Director and producer of Pakistani films Ijaz Gul said that the screening of Iranian film in Pakistan was a welcome step as it would make the cultural exchanges between the two countries more effective.
The minister of state along with the Iranian ambassador inaugurated the film festival by lighting candles and cutting a cake.