A meeting of the Senate Standing Committee on National Heritage and Culture was held on Monday at Parliament House, Islamabad. The meeting was chaired by Senator Afnan Ullah Khan was attended by Deputy Chairman Senate,Senator Mirza Muhammad Afridi, Senator Khalida Ateeb, Senator Keshoo Bai, Senator Palwasha Mohammad Zai Khan, Senator Rubina Khalid, Senator Falak Naz, Senator Irfan-ul-Haq Siddiqui, Senator Mushahid Hussain Sayed and senior officers of the Ministry of National Heritage and Culture along with its attached departments and agencies.
The meeting commenced with a detailed briefing on the functions and performance of the attached departments of the Ministry that included the Iqbal Academy, Pakistan; Aiwan e Iqbal Complex; Urdu Science Board; Shakir Ali Museum, Lahore. The Committee was concerned about the issues that befell these organizations that despite no dearth of endowment funds have been deprived of finances leaving major projects in the lurch. The Committee took strong notice of the matter and directed the Ministry to ensure that all essential measures are taken to necessitate the allocation of funds to all institutions especially the Iqbal Academy, which has been awarded the responsibility of ensuring that the poetic message of Iqbal is spread far and wide. It was asserted that all out efforts must be made to clear bureaucratic blocks so that these institutions of culture and learning operate according to full potential. The Committee recommended that Chairman Committee, Senator Afnan Ullah Khan meet with the Prime Minister at the earliest in this regard.
Discussing details of vacant posts at the Ministry of National \heritage and Culture; the Committee directed the Ministry to provide domicile details of employees. While discussing new recruitments the Committee took strong notice of quota for women and minorities only measly jobs. \the Committee was directed that quotas may be provided for women and minorities on key posts in the Ministry as well.
Reviewing steps taken by the Ministry of National Heritage and Culture regarding the implementation of Supreme Court Order on the conversion of all official documents from English to Urdu, the Committee was informed that Ministry after the September, 2015 decision of the Supreme Court has tirelessly undertaken the mission and to-date has translated over 4000 policy documents related to 57 Departments. The Committee lauded the efforts of the Ministry and assured it of its complete support to promote Pakistan’s rich cultural heritage on all national and international forums.