Arts Council of Pakistan

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The Arts Council of Pakistan Karachi (Urdu: آرٹس کونسل آف پاکستان کراچی‎), also known as the Karachi Arts Council (Urdu: آرٹس کونسل کراچی کی‎) is a government owned organization for promotion of the Arts in Pakistan. The Arts Council of Pakistan Karachi is arguably the largest council made for the purpose of promoting arts and culture in Pakistan, and perhaps the busiest in terms of organising events on a yearly basis. Given the kind of sociopolitical turn that the country has taken with reference to religious extremism, it makes the council all the more significant an institution to uphold and foster the traditions of the arts that aim to give society a balanced approach to life. According to history of Arts Council Karachi, sometime in 1948, a group of arts enthusiasts gathered and formed themselves into a society under the name of Karachi Fine Arts Society. The Society did a great deal of initial pioneering work to encourage and promote art s and culture. It held exhibitions and promoted activities relating to theatre. The funds of the society were contributed personally by the members themselves. They had no permanent building of their own. Their meeting was therefore held at the residence of the office bearers. Art exhibition were held in rented space in private houses. Six Year later in 1954, the Karachi Fine Arts Society was reorganized into a body called the Arts Council of Pakistan Karachi. This was registered with the registrar of societies, Karachi, under Act XX1 of 1860. (The Registration Certificate was issued on 10 May 1955). After its formation, the Arts Council of Pakistan, Karachi stepped up activities in the field of arts and culture. It also sponsored production of plays and musical programs. Since the Arts Council did not have premises of its own, it could not accomplish as much as it wished to do. A determined effort was made to have a building of the Arts Council. A fund raising campaign was launched and appeals were made to the public and the government for providing funds for the building. The plans envisaged space for exhibition halls, auditorium and administration office.

Muhammad Ahmed Shah

(Current Secretary Arts Council of Pakistan Karachi) Leader of Elected body 2015 Mr. Muhammad Ahmed Shah was born on 29 May 1959 in Karachi and got his education from Karachi. He had keen interest in Arts and Culture and participated in Arts & Culture activities from a young age. He owns a Production House by the name of Vision Beyond. He produced many renowned TV Serials. After 1965 and 1971 war he reproduced old National Songs with new compositions and sung by well known singers. He also produced New National Songs. These National Songs was broad casted by Pakistan Television on the eve of Independence Day celebration and he also launched first time in Pakistan, album of National Songs “MITTI KI MOHABBAT”.

Arts Council of Pakistan Karachi is an N.G.O. Established in 1955-56. Mr. Muhammad Ahmed Shah Joined Arts Council in 2000. He was elected Honorary Secretary, Arts Council in the year 2008 and remained on this post for 3 years. He became the first elected President of Arts Council of Pakistan Karachi in 2011 and members of Arts Council of Pakistan Karachi have reposed trust in him and has been electing him President for 3 years and after completing this tenure he has been electing Secretary for the last 3 consecutive years.

His Major achievements are given as under:

In adverse situation of the country and existing war against terrorism Mr. Muhammad Ahmed Shah planned to fought through cultural activities to curb extremism and show the masses lighter side of life and planned first International Urdu Conference which proved to be big success and is now being held for the last 8 years in which prominent scholars from across the globe participate and read their literary papers and now Arts Council of Pakistan Karachi is a hub of literary activities.

During 2007 earthquake, Mr. Ahmed Shah mobilized all his resources to help the victims. He formed a team of doctors and with medicines, food and surgical items, he went to affected Northern areas and set up a Medical Camp at Mansehra and provided all sort of medical facilities, food, warm clothes etc., to the affected people. He remained there and ran the camp for 2 months. Similarly, during the floods in Sindh in 2010 a huge area was devastated and tens of thousands people were displaced. Mr. Ahmed Shah again rose at this hour of need and worked tirelessly day and night for the rehabilitation of the displaced persons arrived from interior Sindh. He formed a team of doctors and social workers and set up a main camp office at Arts Council. He adopted 3 camps with about 4000 men, women and children, who were provided 3 times daily cooked food, clothing, medical facilities etc. All these activities done without Government Grant.

During his tenure, he started the theatre activities in Arts Council theatre which was lying unused for a long time though it had all the facilities of special lights, crafts and acoustic system. The revival of theatre was not possible without the initiative and services of Mr. Muhammad Ahmed Shah. He arranged International Music Festivals every year and the starved music lovers for five days to enjoy highest quality of Music. Revival of Eastern Music achieved in this city by his tirelessly efforts. On Independence Day He arranged festivals, especially for youth so that they know how our beloved country get independence from servitude for the last so many years.

Mr. Muhammad Ahmed Shah on priority basis started the work to renovate and air condition the two Art Galleries in Arts Council.

Mr. Muhammad Ahmed Shah planned to build a 5 story new building which is now in final stage.

Mr. Ahmed Shah formed an Endowment Fund for the sick and needy persons belonging to the field of Literature and fine arts fraternity. The Arts Council has granted reasonable amount to the artists and scholars to help them in a dignified way.

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