ISLAMABAD    -    The Senate Standing Committee on National Heritage and Culture on Thursday considered merger of ‘Iqbal Academy Pakistan’ and ‘Aiwan-e-Iqbal.’

The meeting of the committee was held at the Par­liament House under the chairmanship of Senator Af­nanullah Khan. The committee considered the ‘Iqbal Academy Pakistan Bill 2022.’ The proposed bill was tabled in the Senate after approval by the Nation­al Assembly. The purpose of the bill is to merge two departments ‘Iqbal Academy Pakistan’ and ‘Aiwan-e-Iqbal’ into one institution. The Secretary National Heritage and Culture was of the view that work and mandate of both the institutions are same, therefore, by integrating them, their work can be improved. Senator Kesho Bai said that it is also important to lis­ten to the position of Aiwan-e-Iqbal authorities re­garding the bill, without which deliberations on the bill will be futile. According to the opinion of all the members, the Chairman Committee, Senator Afnan­ullah Khan, deferred consideration of the bill until the next meeting so that the relevant advisor can also be a part of the committee’s proceedings.

Secretary National Heritage and Culture gave a de­tailed briefing to the committee members regarding work of the division and its attached departments which included Quaid-e-Azam Mazar Management Board, National Museum of Pakistan (Karachi), Quaid-e-Azam Academy (Karachi), Urdu Dictionary Board (Karachi) and National Academy of Performing Arts. The committee members gave various sugges­tions to improve the performance of the institutions. 

The chairman committee said that people from rel­evant fields should be included in the boards of the institutions, which will help improve the functioning of the institutions. The chairman committee also em­phasised on taking steps to highlight the culture and history of Pakistan at the global level. 

The committee members appreciated the work of the National Academy of Performing Arts and sug­gested partnership with universities across the coun­try for further improvement. Secretary National Her­itage and Culture Division informed the committee that vacancies in Lok Virsa and PNCA will be filled soon. The committee members also recommended measures regarding the exhibition of the remains of the ancient Mehergarh Balochistan and Gandhara civilisations in the National Museum.

Senators, Deputy Chairman Senate Mirza Muham­mad Afridi, Irfan Siddiqui, Palwasha Muhammad Zai Khan, Mushahid Hussain Sayed, Fawzia Arshad, Falak Naz, Saeed Ahmed Hashmi, Keshoo Bai, Rubina Khalid and officials of the related departments par­ticipated in the committee meeting.