Islamabad:17 December: All literary organisations have demanded of the prime minister to put the Pakistan Academy of Letters (PAL) under the administrative control of the Cabinet Division or the PM Secretariat as it could not perform its duties efficiently under newly established Ministry of National Heritage and Integration.
These demands were made during a gathering of men of letters. Addressing on the occasion Imdad Aakash said that transfer of PAL to Ministry of National Heritage and Integration has badly hampered the achievement of the core objective of this institution that is promotion of Pakistani literatures and welfare of writers community throughout Pakistan.
“It is the matter of fact that as many as 500 families of deserving poets, writers and heirs of those who have passed away have not yet been paid monthly honoraria of Rs5000 each since November 2011 by PAL owing to non-availability of funds due to technicalities emerged following PAL’s placement under National Heritage Ministry,” he said.
He further said that payment of lump sum financial assistance to ailing writers in emergency cases is also suspended on the same grounds. “The situation has also badly affected the publication and programme project of PAL,” he said.
According to information, following the devolution of Ministry of Education in pursuance of the 18th Amendment, the administrative control of PAL was assigned to the Cabinet Division in March 2011, but it did not last for a long time, as after establishment of four new ministries following devolution process; the administrative control of PAL was given to newly established Ministry of National Heritage and Integration.
The writers, on the occasion, said that National Heritage and Integration is presently working on papers with a secretary, two joint secretaries and its minister. So far, no allocation of funds has yet been made to this ministry. On one part, this delay in allocation of funds is badly hampering the administrative work of PAL while on other it’s adding to the miseries of the deserving poets and writers. It is a matter of grave concern, as most of these 500 families are only depending on this monthly stipend.
The needy writers and bereaved families of deceased writers, who are receiving monthly stipends from PAL, are even lodging their complaints to the president and prime minister, but no one is there to adhere to their miseries. PAL is a national premier institution, established by Zulfikar Ali Bhutto in 1976. The literary circles have demanded of the government that PAL must be retained with the Cabinet Division.The news.