ISLAMABAD - The current owner of Dilip Kumar’s ancestral home in Peshawar has demanded Rs 80 million from the provincial government which contacted him early this week after Prime Minister Nawaz Sharif declared it a national heritage.
The provincial government, on the other hand, offered him Rs 20 million for the four-marla house, The Nation has learnt.
An official of the KP Culture Department informed this scribe that the provincial culture minister visited Kumar’s house several times after PTI formed government in the province last year. He said the provincial government, even before the announcement of PM Nawaz Sharif, was trying to buy the property and reconstruct it. He said KP Chief Secretary Amjad Ali had moved a summary to the federal government to declare Kumar’s ancestral house as a national heritage. He said the KP government had offered Rs 20 million to Akram Ullah, the current owner of the house. He disclosed Akram Ullah was demanding Rs 35 million for the four-marla house before it was declared a national heritage last week, but now he was asking for Rs 80 million which was an unreasonable demand. He added the provincial government could not pay him Rs 80 million. He warned if he did not come to terms with the government, it could acquire this property under the law as it had already been declared a national heritage.
Shakeel Waheed Ullah, Secretary General, Cultural Heritage Council, a Peshawar-based civil society organisation which had long been lobbying to protect Dilip Kumar’s house, has appreciated the PM’s decision to declare it a national heritage. He told the Nation that Saira Bano, the wife of Dilip Kumar, contacted him early this week and asked several questions about the house. She told Waheed Ullah that Dilip Kumar was overjoyed on the decision and they both wanted to visit the house as soon as possible. She also told him that PM Nawaz Sharif, during his last visit to India, had sent a bouquet to Dilip Kumar.
According to Shakeel Waheed Ullah, Akram is the legal owner of the house. He said that after the 18th Amendment, acquiring the house is responsibility of the provincial government and it should try to acquire it as soon as possible because it is in a deplorable condition and can collapse any time. He said his organisation had already written a letter to the PM with the request to release the money to buy the property.
PM Nawaz Sharif declared Dilip Kumar’s house as a national heritage last week and sent a summary to the information ministry, directing them to acquire the house as soon as possible.