KARACHI: The new US Consul General in Karachi, Mark Stroh, on Monday vowed to work together to preserve the cultural sites of historical significance in the metropolis.

During his visit to Frere Hall, he said the US government would assist in the renovation and restoration of the iconic building.

He was accompanied by the deputy consul general and cultural officer of the US consulate, Metropolitan Commissioner Afzal Zaidi of the Karachi Metropolitan Corporation (KMC), as well as Dr Kaleem Lashari, a cultural expert.

Earlier, KMC Administrator Murtaza Wahab welcomed the US CG and other guests on their arrival at Frere Hall and showed them various parts of the historic building.

Mr Stroh took special interest in the Frere Hall Library and the Sadequain Art Gallery on the top floor. Dr Lashari briefed the US CG and other guests on the historical background of Frere Hall.

He said the building was one of the important structures constructed in Karachi during the British rule. The construction work was started in 1863 and was completed in 1865.

Initially it was transformed into a town hall and library, but later an art gallery was established to display paintings and calligraphy.

The building was named after Sir Henry Bartle Edward Frere, British governor, in 1884, in recognition of his services to Karachi and Sindh.

Mr Stroh praised the historic significance of Frere Hall and KMC’s role in maintaining the building, and pledged to work together on bilateral issues and the preservation of sites of historical and cultural significance.

Polio drive

Meanwhile, Barrister Murtaza Wahab has said that citizens should support the government and Unicef in the fight against polio to protect future generations from the crippling disease.

“Polio is a disease and a risk that, if left unchecked, can lead to permanent disability for life,” the administrator said in a message to citizens.

Published in Dawn, September 21st, 2021

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