ISLAMABAD, July 29 (APP): Prime Minister Syed Yusuf Raza Gilani Friday held a consultative session with the country’s television and film artistes, playwrights and singers.It was the second sequel to his initiative ‘PM’s dialogue with Nation’ to seek suggestions on overcoming extremism and intolerance in the society.
Following are the highlights: As many as 30 artistes invited from across the country, participated in the discussion Prominent included: playwrights Anwar Maqsood and Haseena Moeen, filmstar Mustafa Qureshi, TV Director Sahira Kazmi, Classical Singer Surayya Multanikar, Pop-Singer Abrarul Haq, TV artistes Marina Khan, Irfan Khoosat, Firdous Jamal and Laila Zuberi.They arrived at PM Secretariat and were settled at the Cabinet’s Committee Room before the arrival of the PM at 11.30 am.
Minister for Information and Broadcasting Dr Firdous Ashiq Awan went around the hall and individually welcomed the artistes. The programme started with the verses of Holy Quran recited by Qamar Zaman Kaira, the senior member of Pakistan Peoples Party. Cabinet Secretary Nargis Sethi greeted the guests saying that the hall, where the federal cabinet meets every week, had never witnessed such a exquisite gathering.
After the Prime Minister’s opening remarks, senior film actor Mustafa Qureshi started the discussion. However Qureshi mistakenly called the prime minister as ‘Mr President’, on which Prime Minister Gilani in a lighter vein said, “Here people sometimes call me as Chairman, Speaker or the President. No problem, they often forget the Prime Minister.”
The female artistes including Iman Ali, Laila Zuberi and Sadia Imam gave a sober look contrary to their on-screen appearances in heavy makeup and gaudy costumes.
The gathering was amused when the Prime Minister told pop singer Abrarul Haq, who fumbled to speak with his mouthful, to “Please keep your microphone close and platter away.”
Senior television artiste Firdous Jamal said he and his fellows were grateful to the Prime Minister who consulted them in policy-making.
When an artiste drew the Prime Minister’s attention that there was no culture minister at the moment, he joked: “Don’t worry, we neither have Culture Minister nor an Agriculture Minister.”
The gathering enjoyed the moment when filmstar Mustafa Qureshi on an artiste request’s to the Prime Minister for provision of suitable accommodation for artistes, wittily added that “just like the MNA Hostel”.
Classical Singer Surayya Multanikar spoke to Prime Minister Gilani in her native Seraiki language, saying she liked speaking this way as it was the mother tongue of the Prime Minister as well.
Later, the Prime Minister had a photo-op with the artistes.