Pakistani fans celebrate Dilip Kumar’s 100th birth anniversary

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Peshawar: Scores of well-wishers and Pakistani fans of legendary actor Dilip Kumar highlighted the dilapidated condition of his ancestral house here as they remembered the late actor on his 100th birth anniversary. The Cultural Heritage Council (CHC) of Khyber Pakhtunkhwa organised an event Sunday to celebrate the birth centenary of the silver screen icon at the native home of Dilip Kumar in Mohallah Khudadad historic Qissa Khwani Bazar where scores of his neighbours, relatives and people from various walks of life paid tributes to him.

In the past, the actor’s birthday was celebrated in Peshawar Press Club, but this time it was observed at his old house.

CHC general secretary Shakeel Wahidullah Khan said that the purpose of holding the event at the dilapidated house was meant to highlight the deplorable condition of the building. He appreciated the people who participated in the birth anniversary celebration of Dilip Kumar and said the purpose of organising this event was to spread the message of love and brotherhood among the people of India and Pakistan.

Wahidullah said that this house belonged to the legendary actor, but no one ever paid attention to properly preserve it. He said this house was 128 years old and had the status of a heritage building. The provincial government and the archaeology department were responsible for its repair and preservation, Wahidullah added.

Wahidullah said false claims were made about its repair and preservation every year, but practically nothing had been done so far. He stated that if the government did not initiate practical steps for its preservation then a fundraising campaign would be launched by the people of Peshawar to protect the property from being damaged further.

Born December 11 in 1922 as Yousuf Khan to a Hindi-speaking Awan family at Mohallah Khudadad near the fabled Qissa Khwani bazaar of the provincial capital of Khyber Pakhtunkhwa, Kumar spent 12 years of his childhood here before migrating to India.

Kumar’s century-old ancestral house situated in the fabled Qissa Khwani Bazar was declared a national heritage in 2014 by the then Nawaz Sharif government. The actor had always held the city of Peshawar close to his heart and would reminisce about his childhood memories.

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