05/23/2009 11:50 PM | By Ashfaq Ahmed, Chief Reporter
Dubai: Pakistan's ambassador to the UAE has formed a Cultural Council that aims to promote art, culture and literature in the country.
"I recently formed a committee comprising of some Pakistani literary figures in the UAE to work on the project of Pakistan Cultural Council with an aim to introduce Pakistani art, culture, heritage and literature in the emirates," said Ambassador Khursheed Ahmad Junejo.
He was speaking on Wednesday in Sharjah at the launching ceremony of the book 'Safar Kahani' (a travelogue) written by Saleem Kashmiri, a famous Pakistani community member, who lived in the UAE for 32 years and moved to Pakistan a couple of months ago. Kashmiri is also a columnist and has also worked in the aviation industry in Dubai.
The ambassador said the aim of the council would be to organise literary functions, exhibitions, cultural programmes all over the UAE and interact with the local talent as well. "The council will also be platform to provide financial help to writers and poets who are living in poverty," he added. Junejo hailed the constructive role played by Kashmiri in highlighting various social issues in his books and as a journalist. "Kashmiri's efforts were also appreciated by the late Prime Minister Benazir Bhutto during her eight-year stay in Dubai," he added. He noted that a writer or a journalist can change the mindset and perception of the society provided he or she writes the truth.
"Journalists in Pakistan have played a key role in changing the perception of people and formed a public opinion in favour of military operation against Taliban militants in Swat valley. It is because of journalists that people of Pakistan now support the government and the army in their efforts to eliminate militancy," he noted.
The ambassador also urged the community members in the UAE to donate generously to help the internally displaced persons (IDPs) who are homeless due to military operation in Swat valley.
Conflict in Swat: Airline campaign
Airblue, Pakistan's largest private airline, has launched a relief campaign to collect donations at its sales points and check-in counters for the victims of Swat valley conflict.
The airline has joined hands with HelpCounts.org to provide relief to people displaced from Swat valley due to the military operation against Taliban militants.
"Airblue is contributing to the cause by collecting donations at all its sales offices, check-in counters and on board the aircraft," said Suhail Shaikh, an airline official in Dubai. He said that specially designed collections boxes have been placed at all collection points.
- Staff Report