ISLAMABAD: The government plans to establish a heritage fund for the upkeep and preservation of cultural sites across the country.
This was stated by National History and Literary Heritage Minister Shafqat Mehmood while chairing a meeting of Coordination Committee on Heritage Sites of Pakistan, here on Tuesday.
The minister said that Pakistan has a rich and diverse cultural heritage which can be promoted to attract maximum tourists.
He said there is a need for complete mapping and categorisation of cultural sites including those of religion in order to ensure their preservation. He said that the federal government will extend all possible support to the provinces on the matter.
The meeting discussed ways and means to promote the country’s cultural heritage at the international level in detail.
Provincial officials informed the coordination committee about the documentation of heritage sites and the steps being taken for their maintenance and rehabilitation.
The committee was informed that six thousand archaeological sites have been mapped in Khyber Pakhtunkhwa (KP), one hundred in Azad Kashmir and two thousand in Gilgit Baltistan (GB).
The coordination committee was informed that ten religious sites are being developed in Punjab besides a project has been launched for mapping of cultural sites located along the GT road from Landi Kotel to Wagah border.
National History and Literary Heritage Joint Secretary Nazir Ahmad informed the committee that our six cultural heritage sites are registered with United Nations Educational, Scientific and Cultural Organisation (UNESCO) whilst a list of another twenty-six sites has been prepared to get them registered with the world body.
He said an international conference on Islamic history, culture and heritage of Kashmir will also be held in April this year with the aim to raise awareness about the region’s cultural diversity.
A UNESCO representative said that Pakistan has a great potential in cultural tourism and her organisation will work hand in hand with the Pakistani government for preservation and protection of cultural sites.