Legendary actor Dilip Kumar’s ancestral home here has been declared as a national heritage and Prime Minister Nawaz Sharif has ordered authorities to acquire the dilapidated property, a move he hopes would bring Pakistan and India closer.
Sharif has already approved an order in this regard and sent it to Information Ministry, which has forwarded it to director general Pakistan National Council of Arts (PNCA) for implementation, an official statement said.
After acquiring Kumar’s home the government is planning to convert it into a museum.
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Kumar’s 130 square metre home is located in Peshawar’s famous Qisa Khawani Bazaar area and is in a shabby condition.
Acting Director General PNCA Mashood Mirza confirmed that the council has received the order from Information Ministry with the instruction to implement it as soon as possible.
He said at present somebody had been illegally occupying the house, who claimed to be a relative of Kumar, but is not his relative.
Sharif had ordered the authorities concerned to complete the task as soon as possible.
The government is planning to invite 91-year-old Kumar and other members of his family after converting the house into a museum.
The chief secretary Khyber Pakhtunkhwa has forwarded a report to the federal government and requested it to take steps for acquiring Kumar’s home and declare it a national heritage.
Sources said Sharif believes the project would play an important role to bring people of Pakistan and India closer.
Sharif approved the order and sent it to information ministry on Thursday and the ministry marked it to DG PNCA on Friday, instructing him to start work on it.
Sources said Sharif was eager to promote the cultural relationship between India and Pakistan. He met with the representatives of Indian film industry in his last visit to India.
Dilip Kumar was born Yusuf Khan in Peshawar. In the late 1930s, his family relocated to Mumbai.
The Prime Minister’s decision is testimony to the enormous importance Pakistan attaches to promoting art and culture by paying tribute to living legends like Dilip Kumar whose contributions to the sub continent cinema are unparalleled, an official said.