Home Culture Razi Ahmed Appointed Lahore Arts Council Chairperson

Razi Ahmed Appointed Lahore Arts Council Chairperson

Interim government appoints LLF CEO after Qasim Ali Shah steps down from post

by Staff Report

Photo by Tapu Javeri, courtesy LLF

The interim Punjab government on Wednesday appointed Lahore Literary Festival (LLF) CEO Razi Ahmed as the chairperson of the Lahore Arts Council, replacing Qasim Ali Shah, who stepped down from the post due to personal reasons last year.

“This significant decision comes in response to the Punjab government’s commitment to fostering regional cultural and artistic development,” read an official press release from the Lahore Arts Council (LAC). “The Department of Information and Culture, acting on government directives, has promptly issued a notification formalizing Razi Ahmed’s appointment,” it added.

Describing Ahmed as a “distinguished figure in the literary landscape,” the statement noted he was the founder and CEO of the LLF. “As the newly appointed chairman of Alhamra’s Board of Governors, he expressed his commitment to prioritizing the construction and development of arts and the individuals associated with this vibrant sector,” it added.

Ahmed, meanwhile, stressed on the immense cultural significance of Alhamra, labeling it a cornerstone of literary and cultural excellence. He also affirmed the implementation of strategic initiatives to ensure the institution’s prosperity, emphasizing its pivotal role in shaping the region’s artistic narrative.

“This appointment signals a new era for Lahore Arts Council Alhamra under the dynamic leadership of Razi Ahmed, promising a future marked by innovation, growth, and a flourishing artistic community,” the LAC statement added.

Ahmed had previously been appointed the chairperson of the 18-member Board of Governors for 3 years in October 2022. However, the interim government had removed him from the post after dissolving the Board of Governors, stating it was aiming for “neutrality” ahead of general elections, replacing him with motivational speaker Shah in February.

Less than a year since his appointment, however, authorities started to voice displeasure over Shah’s work as the LAC chairperson, with local media reporting he had only called one meeting of the Board of Governors in four months despite several pending issues. According to daily Dawn, the Information and Culture Department subsequently advised Shah to tender his resignation to allow for the appointment of a more dedicated individual.

In his resignation letter, Shah praised interim Punjab C.M. Mohsin Naqvi, describing him as a true lover of art and culture who had encouraged and guided him for the promotion of art and literature.

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