Islamabad - United Nations Educational, Scientific and Cultural Organization (UNESCO) has considered Pakistan’s nomination file of `Suri Jagek’ as technically complete for possible inscription in its `List of Intangible Cultural Heritage in Need of Urgent Safeguarding’ in 2018. This was revealed by Deputy Secretary, National History and Literary Heritage (NH&LH), Nazir Ahmad while talking to APP.

`Suri Jagek’ is a vanishing tradition and meteorological and astronomical practice of inhabitants of Kalash Valley to observe sun, moon and stars in reference to the local topography for the weather-related forecast.

Nazir Ahmad said this initiative would keep the ancient cultural tradition of Kalash people alive.

He said the nomination file of `Suri Jagek’ was submitted by Pakistan for a possible inscription in 2018 on the List of the Intangible Cultural Heritage in Need of Urgent Safeguarding.

Pakistan was the only country in the South Asia which had filed such nomination to be inscribed in the UNESCO’s List of the Intangible Cultural Heritage in Need of Urgent Safeguarding, he said.

This file will be evaluated by the Evaluation Body of UNESCO and transmitted to the Intergovernmental Committee for a decision at its 13 sessions in November or December. He said, “Cultural heritage of Kalash is facing various threats and there is urgent need to preserve this unique culture of Chitral district which is rich in both tangible and intangible cultural heritage.”

Listing the other initiatives taken by the division, Nazir Ahmad said UNESCO allowed every country to send one element for inscription every year and it was a big achievement of Pakistan it had got inscribed two practices of intangible heritage including `Falconry’ and `Nowruz’ on UNESCO’s list of intangible heritage within two years.

He informed that the division has also initiated a project of inventorying the Intangible Cultural Heritage (ICH) and identified 45 elements with the help of local school teachers to formulate National ICH inventory of Pakistan.

He said the division had also developed national guidelines for integrating intangible cultural heritage into teaching and learning for promoting education for sustainable development.

Talking to APP, Advisor to Prime Minister, Irfan Siddiqui said every civilized nation considers preservation of its cultural heritage as its prime duty towards humanity. The NHLH Division, since its formation, was taking strong measures to give recognition to the cultural heritage of all the communities and places across the country as well as their preservation for transmission to the next generations, he said. Irfan Siddiqui said inscription of Pakistan’s traditions and intangible cultural heritage at UNESCO lists would promote the soft image of the country.

PTA receives 8000 complaints for blasphemous contents

Pakistan Telecommunication Authority (PTA) has received more than 8000 complaints regarding blasphemous contents on social media sites. According to PTA official, ”The authority has established a web analysis cell where 25 personnel are working solely on identifying unlawful contents on the internet including the blasphemous material.” He told that blasphemous material being uploaded on the internet in different forms diff forms literature, pictures, audio, video etc, therefore, identification of Blasphemous material without human intervention is not possible there PTA has deployed a team of 25 IT personnel for this purpose. “PTA has blocked around 13,210 blasphemous links, given the facts a huge amount of content is being produced every minute and is uploaded on the internet, it is almost impossible to restrict and loch anyone or more of the content categories completely,” he added. PTA has developed an electronic portal to facilitate stakeholders to lodge complaints relating to any objectionable web content. An email address is also advertised in the media facilitating general public to inform about any blasphemous content.

PTA has also requested HEC, MoIT and FIA to upload these guidelines on their respective websites for education of general public and also requested all concern stakeholders to report the objectionable content to the relevant platform directly.