Need to promote positive, soft image of country: President

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ISLAMABAD, Aug 26: President Mamnoon Hussain on Wednesday said Pakistan is home to rich cultural heritage and stressed that patronage of arts and literature can promote the country’s positive image abroad. The President expressed these views at the inauguration of an exhibition of Arabic calligraphy organized by Ministry of Foreign Affairs, besides the launch of a book ‘Al’lama Bil Qalam’ on calligraphic art. The President said Arabic calligraphic art is a beautiful and creative way to write the Quranic message and occupies the most distinguished place in Islamic art. He said the book ‘Al’lama Bil Qalam’ was distinctive by its content that added a wonderful dimension to the intricate artwork by upcoming calligraphers. He appreciated the calligraphic work of artists that depicted rendition of Quranic verses in an exquisite manner. The President also lauded the Ministry of Foreign Affairs for publishing the book ‘Al’lama Bil Qalam’ launched through their dedicated Division that aimed at promoting Pakistan’s image through public diplomacy. He said such events related to arts and literature were a fresh breather in an era of terrorism and extremism, and also reflected that Pakistanis were a peace-loving and democratic nation. He mentioned that in the sub-continent, the calligraphic art gained prominence in the Mughal era and at present had its global artistic appeal. He said Pakistan had a splendid cultural heritage, which had greatly contributed to the flourishing of Islamic art in the region. The President said in Pakistan, the calligraphy gained much popularity in the era of 1970s and played a central role in defining the Pakistani culture of visual arts. He expressed satisfaction that the legacy of renowned Pakistani calligraphers Sadequain and Gul Jee was continuing with the work of young calligraphers. He said Pakistani artist Shafiq uz Zaman, who was the Chief calligrapher of Masjid-e-Nabvi, was a source of pride for the country. Foreign Secretary Aizaz Chaudhry welcomed the President for gracing the occasion and said that holding of this unique occasion at the Ministry’s Sahabzada Yaqub Khan Block was a new chapter in the public diplomacy. He said the coffee table book ‘Al’lama Bil Qalam’, exclusively launched by the Ministry of Foreign Affairs, carried description of creative blending of ancient and modern calligraphic art.

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