Peshawar: The members of the Culture Journalists Forum CJF have demanded of the PTI led Khyber Pakhtunkhwa to announce a clear cultural policy and allocate funds for the promotion of art and culture in the militancy –plagued province and also set up a transparent Censorship Board to prevent the way of substandard and vulgar CD production in the name of Pashto. The CJF demanded that the incumbent government should get passed a valid cultural policy draft prepared unanimously by the previous ANP led government by the Khyber Pakhtunkhwa assembly forthwith.
A meeting was held here Monday at Peshawar Press Club under CJF President Ihtisham Toru in which the members of the forum expressed deep displeasure over ignoring allocating funds in the annual budget separately for boosting literary and cultural activities in the province adding that it also spread a wave of unrest among the artiste’s community as well as deserving literati who have suffered unbearable hardships in the wake of the ongoing extremism and militancy.
The CJF demanded of the Chief Minister Khyber Pakhtunkhwa Pervez Khattak and Information and culture minister Shaukat Yousafzai to separately advocate funds for promotion of art and culture and set up an endowment fund for the welfare of the artistes, painters, singers, poets and writers and also give a green signal to genuine art promoters to conduct commercial shows and stage plays reflective of Pashtun’s art and culture on subsidized rates in the Nishtar hall the city’s lone theatre while similar efforts be made to establish theatre halls on the same pattern in cities of the province so that local art and culture could also have a chance to flourish and people get entertainment at their home towns.
\Appreciating efforts of the previous government and of the keen interest of the former minister for information and culture Mian Iftikhar Hussain, the members recalled that the ANP led Khyber Pakhtunkhwa government in her tenure had taken several bold steps for the revival , promotion and preservation of artistic activities despite terrorism and worst law and order which greatly helped promoting peace and soft image of the province ,it arranged numerous shows, seminars, stage plays , tableau , poetry recitals , cultural workshops and also extended financial aid to large number of deserving artistes, singers , poets and writers representing different cultures of our province.
“This is extremely disappointing that PTI led government did not allocate even a single penny for the promotion of cultural activities in the militancy –hit province in its annual budget. We can fight back extremism only with the strong weapon of our rich and diverse culture. The CM should announce a separate fund for the artiste’s welfare as well as for boosting literary and cultural activities in Khyber Pakhtunkhwa. Our people are entertainment –starved and need healthy activities,” the CJF said.
The CJF members said that blocking the way of so called CD producers and telefilms promoting violence and obscenity in the name of Pashto needed to be strongly dealt with adding a transparent and independent Censorship Board was need of the hour so that genuine artistes could get a chance to promote our indigenous art and culture expressive of our rich social and cultural traditions. “No nation can progress without remaining intact with her own art, poetry, culture and social values. Also terrorism could be best beaten through our rich indigenous culture whether drama, music and art. We need to promote peace and stability and it could be done only when we have a solid and clear cultural policy that would give us a clear direction regarding revival, promotion and preservation of our peaceful land and people ,” the CJF concluded.