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US envoy honors Pakistan’s cultural history on first trip to AJK

Ambassador Donald Blome honored the strong cultural ties between Pakistan and the US. He said the US helped Pakistan restore 32 historic and cultural sites. 

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US Ambassador to Pakistan Donald Blome has honored Pakistan’s cultural heritage and history on his first trip to Azad Jammu & Kashmir (AJK).

According to the details, Donald Blome paid a visit to the Quaid-e-Azam Memorial Dak Bungalow, which is also known as the Quaid-i-Azam Memorial Rest House. The historical and sentimental value of the Barsala Tourist Lodge was that Jinnah had stayed there for some time while on his way to Srinagar from Rawalpindi on July 26, 1944.

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“The Quaid-e-Azam Memorial Dak Bungalow symbolizes the cultural and historical richness of Pakistan and was famously visited by Jinnah in 1944. I’m honored to visit during my first trip to AJK,” Ambassador Donald Blome said on the occasion.

“Damaged during the 2005 earthquake, the local government has beautifully restored this heritage site for the benefit of the community and visiting travelers,” he added.

Partners in cultural restoration

Moreover, Ambassador Donald Blome honored the strong cultural ties between Pakistan and the US. He said the US helped Pakistan restore 32 historic and cultural sites.

“The U.S. has helped to restore 32 historic and cultural sites around Pakistan, totaling more than $7.1 million. These projects show the respect & admiration the U.S. has for Pakistan, its culture, and its people,” Donald Blome also said.

To clarify, the United States government has been playing a commendable role in the preservation of the cultural sites in the different parts of the coun­try through the Ambassador’s Fund, since 2001.

The U.S. government is supporting the restoration of historic sites across Pakistan, some dating back 2,000 years. Restored buildings include Buddhist monasteries, Hindu monuments, Sufi shrines, and relics of the Mughal Empire, which flourished between the 16th and mid-19th centuries.

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Among the US’ notable restoration projects in Pakistan include Chowk Wazir Khan Mosque in Lahore, Punjab. More than $1 million in U.S. funding helped restore the Chowk Wazir Khan Mosque. The project strengthened the foundations of structures at the mosque provided jobs for local artisans and helped establish the 17th-century holy site as a tourist attraction.

Similarly, the 17th-century tombs of Sultan Ibrahim and Amir Sultan Muhammad of the Tarkhan Dynasty also went restoration. The tombs are part of Makli Hill in Thatta, Sindh, one of the world’s largest burial grounds. Roughly 125,000 Sufi saints, scholars, royalty and other dignitaries have been laid to rest there.