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Saturday, July 11, 2009

Pakistan Academy of Letters, Islamabad. (2003-15)

Pakistan is a multicultural and multi linguistic nation with a rich literary tradition and a vast heritage in both the national and regional languages. The Pakistan Academy of Letters was established in July 1976 as an autonomous organization under the Federal Ministry of Education with a view to promoting and fostering literary activities in the country and systemizing the support mechanism to scholars and writers in the pursuit of their research and creative works.The objectives of the Academy were formulated in this broad framework. A board of governors was appointed to run the affairs of the Academy and a body of Founding Fellows was nominated from prominent literary personalities of the country including luminaries of the period like the late Dr lshtiaq Hussain Qureshi who became the first president of the Founders among whom the names of the late A.K. Brohi, Hafeez Jullundhri, Sardar Khan Gashkori, Dr. Said Abdullah, Ehsan Danish, Mian Syed Rassol Rasa, Prof Ahmad Ali stand out. The Academy is fortunate to have the guidance of eminent Founding Fellows like Ahmad Nadim Qasmi, Mr. Sharif Kunjahi and Dr. N.A. Baloch. The late Dr. Shafiqur Rahman was the Academy's first Chairman. The Academy undertakes research projects, evaluates the performance of learned bodies, translates selected works into the national and regional languages, promotes production of standard works of reference, introduces Pakistani writings to foreign readers through translations, publishes a periodical in Urdu and another in English to present the literary works of Urdu, Punjabi, Seraiki, Sindhi, Pushto, Balochi, Brahvi, Kashmiri, Brushashki, Khowar and Shina writers to readers in the country and abroad. The Academy publishes research work of eminent scholars, awards distinguished creative works, provides financial support to indigent writers and advises government on international literary gatherings.
Among its prominent publications, in addition to over 150 it has already published, are the Annual Selection from Pakistani Literatures (Prose & Poetry), Bibliography of Pakistani Literatures, Quarterly Adabiyat, and the Biannual Pakistani Literature.
The Academy also participates in cultural exchange programmes, arranges inter-provincial tours of writers, provides grants-in-aid to learned bodies and honoraria to writers and incase of death to bereaved families. It has started an insurance scheme for writers, built a Writers House at the Academy for visiting writers beside performing a whole gamut of related literary activities. The Academy published two voluminous works in Urdu and English in celebration of Allama lqbal's centenary. The Academy has four regional offices in Lahore, Karachi, Peshawar and Quetta. Date of Issue (September 24, 2003)