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Rare manuscripts museum planned

April 22, 2011

ISLAMABAD, April 22: The National Book Foundation (NBF) chairman Mazharul Islam on Friday announced that it would establish a 'national book museum' on its premises where manuscripts of rare books would be preserved.

Speaking at a ceremony on the eve of 'World Book and Copyright Day', being observed on Saturday, he said this would be a 'living museum' which would preserve evolution of book production in Pakistan. The day is observed to raise awareness of the importance of books as pillars for free and open societies.

At present, he said, book readers and researchers were facing difficulties in finding the original version of books while the second and third versions of the books are sketchy and unauthentic.

The Federal Minister for Law and Justice, Maula Buksh Chandio while speaking as the chief guest, expressed his faith that the nation would defeat the dark forces of evil and hatred with the help of book.

While referring to the reference filed by the government in the Supreme Court in the 'judicial murder' of late PPP founder Zulfikar Ali Bhutto, law minister Chandio stressed that the history must be recorded properly and all the historical record must be set right and the books should speak nothing but truth.

He lauded the role of Mr Islam for the promotion of books, and commented that NBF now truly looks like a book related institution.

Citing examples, the NBF chief said that it was even difficult to find the original manuscript of the great romantic epic, Heer Waris Shah. In later editions, many verses have been added to the original text, which does not belong to Waris Shah, he said.

The NBF chief appreciated the role of Senators Chandio and Jahangir Badr for playing their role for restoring the foundation's identity and saving it from a merger.

He also counted the support of Cabinet Secretary Nargis Sethi for her support to establish book museum and other book-related projects.

Earlier, the law minister inaugurated a book fair at the Islamabad College for Girls which attracted a large of number of book-lovers who were offered books on discounted rates.