Endowment fund for artists soon: minister

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The Khyber Pakhtunkhwa government will soon announce a comprehensive cultural policy reflective of cultural diversity of the province.

The provincial government will also set up an endowment fund for welfare of the artists’ community, said Minister for Information and Culture Shah Farman while talking to members of the Culture Journalists Forum led by its president Ihtisham Toru here on Sunday. Famous actor, Zardad Bulbul, was also in attendance, according to a handout.

The minister assured that PTI-led provincial government would address all outstanding issues of the artists of Khyber Pakhtunkhwa to promote art and cultural activities in the militancy hit region.

He said that his government had already extended financial support to the ailing TV artists, Syed Mumtaz Ali Shah, Khayal Mohammad and Murad Ali alias Gulbali while other deserving artists too would be compensated.

The culture minister said that a comprehensive cultural policy representing all ethnic groups living in the province would soon be announced, which would address almost all the important issues being faced by the artists and writers.

“As our cultural policy should be reflective of our rich cultural diversity, all the stakeholders of the province will be invited to debate and prepare a well worked out policy draft that could guarantee our mutual understanding and social cohesion towards a peaceful society,” Mr Farman added.

He told the meeting that ailing artists, Naeem Jan, Qamru Jan, Zarsanga and Khan Tehsil would be duly compensated. “I have recently sent out a cheque of Rs300,000 to noted ailing TV artist Syed Mumtaz Ali Shah,” the minister added.

Mr Farman said that pace of the work on the publication of the KP Cultural Directory would be expedited, adding that the city’s lone theatre ‘Nishtar Hall’ had been opened for positive and healthy cultural and literary activities.

The minister stressed that journalists should play an active part in boosting true image of Khyber Pakhtunkhwa.

To a question, the minister said that genuine issues of artists would be addressed once a valid cultural policy draft got approved by the KP provincial assembly.

Source: Dawn