LAHORE - National College of Arts Principal Prof Dr Murtaza Jafri said at a meet the press on Thursday that he had been given second extension for three months as principal of the college.

“On the day of my retirement on March 7, I received a fax from Islamabad around 3:30pm stating my period of service has been extended for three months, up to June 7, 2018,” he said.

“During this period, I will advertise the post of NCA principal once again. The laid down selection criteria will be followed to choose the principal,” Dr Jafri said.

“I have been visiting the federal capital to get budget for the college. For last two weeks I have been visiting Prime Minister Shahid Khaqan Abbasi’s office to convey the demands of the college.

“Right now we have 20 percent campus on solar electricity, while 50 percent of the NCA hostel is solar powered. If we get Rs80 million, 50 percent campus will be on solar power and we will get rid of loadshedding,” he said.

“The China-Pakistan Economic Corridor (CPEC) is a game changer but keeping in view its implications on which no one is talking about, NCA has proposed setting up cultural centres along the route of CPEC to create cultural harmony.

“The influx of the Chinese culture would have to be addressed and only art institutions are capable to address these concerns. Our language, culture and everything would be influenced. So we have proposed cultural centres to harmonize the cultures of both countries.

“The cultural centres would screen documentaries, films and art exhibitions depicting the positive aspects of both countries cultures,” Dr Jafri said.

An award-winning calligrapher and author of 18 books of calligraphy Khursheed Gohar Qalam said that Dr Jafri has been doing constructive work for the college. “Students have been coming up with innovative ideas and we encourage their ideas and give them go ahead,” he said.

He paid tributes to Dr Jafri and said he had proved to be a true art lover. “NCA should be given the status of university and Dr Jafri could play an effective role to make this dream come true,” Khursheed was of the view.