Parliamentary Secretary for renovation of 100 archaeological sites, digitization of library data

ISLAMABAD, Mar 15 (APP):Parliamentary Secretary for National History and Literary Heritage Ghazala Saifi has said that heritage division has identified 100 archaeological sites in the country for revamping and renovation to increase national and international tourism on these sites.

Talking in an exclusive APP interview to this scribe here, Ghazal Saifi said that the renovation work on historical sites, main forts such as Rohtas, Katas Raj and few temples, will be started in May which also promote religious tourism as in the case of Kartarpur Corridor.

She told funds for renovation of such archaeological and historical sites in the past have been misused and timely work on these sites was completely ignored however now the incumbent government was in discussion with UNESCO for many national archaeological sites to be declared as under the jurisdiction of UNESCO cultural heritage.

Replying to a question, parliamentary secretary said that the National Library has been renovated and many new books including transcripts of old magazines from 1964-65 onwards, have been added to the library to facilitate the field researchers.

“We are also planning to open the library 24/7 along with the digitization of whole data of the library including listings of the books and their genres with publication year and author’s details however it will take time as there are copyright issues”, she added.

She said a separate children section has also been created in the library to promote book reading culture among children which would be opened soon.

To another question she said that in past many institutions were working without TORs. “We had to identify the policy and form Board of Governors where needed for these institution to ensure the achievement of relevant results from their work”, she explained.

Commending the performances of some cultural institutions, Ghazala said that Pakistan National Council of the Arts (PNCA), Pakistan Academy of Letters (PAL) and Urdu Dictionary Board were doing incredible work for cultural promotion in the country.

“PNCA under the leadership of Dr. Fozia Saeed was doing great work as it keeps holding various national and international cultural events throughout week that promote the soft image of the country. PAL was also continuously holding literary events including ‘Mushairas’ that promote young artists as well as Pakistani literature”, she added.

She said that Urdu Dictionary Board has recently released the updated 22nd volume of Urdu dictionary. It can also be available on a mobile application with the ‘pronunciation feature’ which makes it easier for young students to understand their own language.

Commenting on the current state of Pakistani dramas and films, parliamentary secretary said although our entertainment industry was progressing but there must be some code of conduct for its contents that go on-air during prime time. “It was media’s responsibility to monitor immoral elements and practices and point them out for greater good of our young generation”, she said.