PAL to pay tribute to renowned writer Mushtaq Ahmed Yousufi today

ISLAMABAD: Pakistan Academy of Letters (PAL) will organize a “National Literary Condolence Reference” in the memory of renowned Urdu Humour Writer and Intellectual “Mushtaq Ahmed Yousufi” on June 27 to pay tribute to his extra-ordinary literary contribution. 

Director General, National Language Promotion Department (NLPD), Iftikhar Arif will preside over the reference while Federal Secretary, National History and Literary Heritage (NH&LH) Division, Engineer Amir Hasan will be the chief guest on the occasion.

Renowned literary persons including Professor Fateh Muhammad Malik, Kishwar Naheed, Professor Anwar Masood, Masood Mufti and others will express their views about Mushtaq Ahmed Yousufi’s literary contributions and personality.

Yousufi was born on August 4, 1923 in the then princely state of Tonk in United India .His father was the political secretary of the state. Yousufi migrated to Pakistan in 1956 and became a career banker.

In recognition of his contributions to Urdu literature, the government conferred upon him two of the highest literary awards i.e.  Sitara-i-Imtiaz and Hilal-i-Imtiaz in 1999 and 2002 respectively. The popular works of Yousufi include `Chiragh Talay’, `Khakam-ba-dahan’, `Zarguzasht’, `Aab-e-Gum’ and `Sham-e-Shair-e-Yaraan’. Talking to APP, Iftikhar Arif said, he has never come across a writer as particular about the usage and application of words as Yousufi.  “His works are not only the epitome of Urdu literary humour, but his books are the representation of the finest form of Urdu literature that a very few writers have produced”, he observed.–APP

 Conservation of `Ban Faqiran’ heritage site to enhance beauty of Islamabad

ISLAMABAD: Department of Archaeology and Museums (DoAM) has received the formal approval for initiating conservation work of the Buddhist site `Ban Faqiran’ located at the top of Margalla Hills, from the Executive Committee of Archaeology and Literary Heritage Endowment Fund.

The excavation work of this historical site was completed by the department two years ago and now the conservation work will be aimed at protecting the rich cultural heritage of Islamabad as well as enhancing its beauty for local and foreign visitors”, said an official of DoAM while talking to APP. The approval for preservation of `Ban Faqiran “site along with other seven projects was given by the Executive Committee of Archaeology and Literary Heritage Endowment Fund in a meeting held here.

The excavation of the fourth heritage site of `Ban Faqiran’, which is around 2000 years old, in Islamabad was the first ever field activity undertaken by the department after the 18th constitutional amendment in 2010.

The antiquities dug out from the excavated site were preserved for conducting research, imparting education, promoting tourism and providing recreation to visitors, the officials said. The objectives behind this project were to reconstruct the ancient cultural profile, establish antiquities and explore, excavate and preserve potential archaeological sites in Islamabad.

The funds for excavation of this Buddhist site were provided by the National Fund for Cultural Heritage (NFCH) in April 2015 and its excavation commenced in August 2015.  The excavating team under the field directorship of Archaeology Expert, Abdul Ghafoor Lone and site supervisor, Arshad Khan exposed a large stupa- like square structure, measuring 10.26 meter, on the top of Margalla Hills, the official briefed.

 This structure is made of lime and kanjur stone, with semi ashlar and diaper masonry dated from the second to the fourth century Common Era (CE). Besides other antiquities, six coins and four iron arrowheads were discovered from the Buddhist site.–APP

The heritage site also includes an ancient water tank and a mosque.–APP