Call for removing misconceptions about culturally-rich KP

PESHAWAR: How the world sees Khyber Pakhtunkhwa depends largely on depiction of many facets of its life by media and the journalists should promote culture and arts of this culturally-rich region to remove misconceptions about this province and its people, said speakers at a seminar on Monday.“This province is fighting on two fronts – one is the fight against terror and the other is the fight to change misperceptions about this region,” said Azam Khan, secretary tourism and culture, during an interactive seminar titled ‘Media’s role in promotion of arts, culture and tourism’.The seminar was jointly organised by Sarhad Tourism Corporation, culture department and cultural journalists here at Peshawar Press Club.Mr Khan said that the media could remove misconceptions about this province by not just reporting about culture, arts and tourism events, but by promoting all the facets of culture persistently.

Mr Khan said that media could play a role to sensitize the government consistently to issues related to culture, tourism and arts in the province.He said that Nishtar Hall had been opened for cultural and literary activities, which would be extended to other districts to explore talent. He said work on developing a database of all the creative people of the province had already been started.The secretary said that draft of the cultural heritage preservation law had been prepared. He said that the culture department had prepared a summary for award of extra marks to school students who would show talent in creative arts.Information minister Mian Iftikhar Hussain, who also holds portfolio of culture ministry, that the ministry had made some plans to revive culture, arts and tourism in the province, but it needed support of media.“As a spokesperson of the government I had to say things, sometimes in quiet stern tone, but as culture minister I can do more for this province and its people,” he said.

When the journalists raised the issue of CD dramas saying these did not conform to Pakhtun culture, Mr Hussain said that the business of CD dramas would be regulated.He said that ban on such business would bring discouragement for the local film-makers and artistes.“I not only enjoy Pashto music, but also respect the artistes. They need to be provided with opportunities not banned,” he said.Prof Inaamur Rehman of Journalism Department said that media in Khyber Pakhtunkhwa could promote culture, tourism and arts by focusing on symbols, heroes, rituals and values as these were the manifestations of culture of a region or race.He said that the media should pick right examples to promote culture.The cultural reporters also shared their ideas and informed the government of their problems in access to information and places of cultural and archaeological importance – Dawn