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Dilip Kumar’s birthday celebrated in Peshawar

Peshawar: Legendary actor Dilip Kumar’s 93rd birthday was today celebrated in his birth place here with appeals being made to the provincial government to take solid measures to declare his ancestral house a national asset.

The Department of Tourism and Culture in collaboration with the Cultural Heritage Council celebrated the legendary actor’s birthday in Peshawar, where he was born in 1922 before he migrated to India.

Kumar was born in a Hindko-speaking Awan family at Mohallah Khudadad near Qissa Khwani bazaar of the provincial capital of Khyber Pakhtunkhwa and spent 12 years of his childhood there.

On the occasion, several Bollywood actors including Amitabh Bachchan, Govinda, Manoj Kumar, Naseeruddin Shah and Shashi Kapoor shared their thoughts via phone about the legendary actor and India-Pakistan peace cooperation.

Kumar’s wife Saira Bano was also among the guest speakers via phone.

Earlier, the actor took to Twitter to thank the Cultural Heritage Council of Peshawar which had invited him to attend an event in his honour.

“Thank you #peshawar for the invitation to the event, the lovely artwork and posters,” he tweeted.

The Cultural Heritage Council has always been celebrating the actor’s birthday, but this is the 2nd time that it has received official backing of the Department of Tourism and Culture.

Former KP Information Minister Mian Iftikhar Hussain has appealed to the provincial government to take solid and immediate measures for declaring Kumar’s house a national asset.

In a statement, he said that the previous ANP government had taken measures to this effect but “due to certain court orders, lack of cooperation by the bureaucracy and some other hurdles, our efforts could not materialise.”

He said that as a provincial minister in the previous government he had allocated Rs 30 million for purchasing the ancestral house of the Indian film legend and had held series of meetings with the present owner of the house and other relevant people.

“The glory of Peshawar would have been restored if the house of Dilip Kumar was declared national asset besides increasing revenue receipts of the KP culture department and its image but due to certain reasons we could not do it,” he said.

“Dilip Kumar’s house is in shamble and if it collapsed, we will lose a great asset which will not be less than a tragedy,” he said.

He said the governmentshould not delay in taking the custody of the house before it collapse and make solid efforts for purchasing it at the earliest.

Similarly the house of Prithvi Raj Kapoor should also be declared a national asset, he said.

“This is not less than an honour for us that two Indian film legends who conquered the Indian film Industry born in Peshawar,” he said.