ISLAMABAD (APP)- Minister for Culture Ms Sherry Rehman said on Tuesday that study of Pakistani cultural heritage is not only imperative for development of arts and culture, but it is also a line of defence against extremism in the present political scenario. The minister was speaking as chief guest at the inauguration ceremony of National Institute of Cultural Studies (NICS), at Lok Virsa. She said that Pakistan People's Party government was committed to promoting arts and culture in the country as all great civilizations preserve and promote their heritage. Sherry Rehman said that every civilized society treats its craftsmen with great respect. Appreciating the launch of the NICS, she said that it was an excellent step but still there is long way to go. "Study of culture would not only make us a better nation, but it would help millions of our craftsmen and artists to venture into international markets with innovative ideas" she added. She said that NICS has been envisaged as an institution of higher learning, meeting the international contemporary standards of instruction and accomplishment. The knowledge attained and the values developed here will be congruent with Pakistani culture, social perceptions, aesthetics and moral norms, she added. She said that "we have inherited great Muslim heritage of which we should be proud of". She appreciated the role of media in promoting art and culture in the country.