Taxila Institute of Asian Civilizations (TIAC) Quaid-i-Azam University and Silk Road Centre organized an Annual Heritage Forum on the eve of International Mother Language Day. The purpose of the Forum was to promote public awareness on the cultural diversity and heritage of Pakistan. The Forum brought together scholars, heritage conservators, and researchers to share their experiences in the study and conservation of cultural and linguistic heritage in different part of Pakistan. Ms. Amna Imran Khan, Secretary General, Pakistan National Commission for UNESCO was the chief guest at the Heritage Forum. Director of Taxila Institute of Asian Civilizations Dr. Muhammad Ashraf Khan welcomed participants of the Forum. In his welcome address he highlighted the importance of Pakistan’s cultural heritage. Executive Director the Silk Road Centre Dr. Ijlal Hussain spoke about the objectives of the Heritage Forum. He said the Heritage Forum is intended to provide a platform to exchange information on heritage protection issues in Pakistan. He said the Forum aims to create a network of public institutions, academic bodies and civil society to heighten public awareness and to provide opportunities for training and research for heritage conservation.
The panelists who gave presentations on their heritage conservation and research projects included Dr. Nadeem Omar Tarar, Director, National College of Arts Rawalpindi who spoke about Preservation of Historical Sites of Rawalpindi under UNESCO’s Historic Urban Landscape Approach; Mr. Wajahat Ali, Senior Conservation Architect, Aga Khan Cultural Service, Pakistan shared details of the work on Restoration and Revitalization of Historic Sites in Pakistan by AKCS,P; Ms. Shadmina, Himalayan Wildlife Foundation gave a presentation on Conservation, Restoration and Development of Rohtas Fort – a World Heritage Site; Dr. Khawaja Abdul Rehman, Anthropological Linguist, Government Post-Graduate College for Boys, Muzaffarabad shared his research on Documentation of Lesser-known Languages of Azad Jammu & Kashmir; Ms. Rukhsana Said Khan, PhD Scholar, Taxila Institute of Asian Civilizations highlighted Issues in Preservation of Cultural Heritage in Azad Jammu & Kashmir; and Ms. Uzama shared her research study on Pothwari language.
Ms. Amna Imran Khan appreciated the Taxila Institute and Silk Road Centre for organizing the Heritage Forum. Speaking at the Forum she reiterated that such forums should be held on a more regular basis as they provide an opportunity to share knowledge and experience which in turn help a better understanding of both challenges and opportunities in the culture sector.