LAHORE - Punjab Information Minister Fayyazul Hassan Chohan has said the revolutionary changes would be brought about to promote indigenous culture and check the influence of foreign cultures.

According to a handout issued here by the DGPR on Friday, he was speaking during a Defence Day ceremony under the auspices of Rawalpindi Arts Council (RAC).

“Pakistan is our first and the foremost priority. Days are not far away when Pakistan would rank amongst the developed countries of the world”, he said.

Paying glowing tributes to sepoy Maqbool Hussain, the minister said  Mqbool Hussain was a great patriot and spent four decades in the Indian captivity but his never disowned Pakistan despite the fact the Indians offered him freedom if he disowned his motherland. He said sepoy Maqbool Hussain was a rare breed of patriotic Pakistanis who wrote Pakistan Zindabad with his blood-drops after his tongue was cut by the Indian army as a punishment. Fayyaz ul Hassan paid rich tribute to all martyrs who sacrificed their lives for the sake of Pakistan.

The Culture Minister said the government would utilize all available resources for the welfare of the artists in the province, adding that Health Insurance card would soon be introduce to provide health cover to the public.

Fayyaz also announced that performing art academies will be founded in all divisional headquarters of the province, adding that the ‘Punjab Idol’ competitions will be launched soon to harness talent in the province.

Director RAC Waqar Ahmed , Director ANF Riaz Soomroo, Naheed Manzoor, and Sheikh Fahad, were also present besides famous artists Masood Khawja, Qurban Niazi, Khuram Zeeshan, Ghulam Abbas, Meher Anjum, Rida Jaffery, Wali Jaffery.