Lahore, 16 February 2023 (TDI): The Ambassador of the United States (US) to Pakistan, Donald Blome visited Lahore Fort and inaugurated a US Government-Funded Cultural Preservation Project.

In this vein, Blome granted $982500 from the US Ambassador Fund for Cultural Preservation (AFCP) for the restoration of seven sites at the Fort.

The sites include the famous Picture Wall, Loh Temple, Sikh Temple, Zanana Mosque, Sehdara pavilion, and Athdara pavilion besides technical work at the grand Sheesh Mahal.

Address by Ambassador

Donald Blome said during the inauguration, “The US Mission is proud to partner with the Walled City of Lahore Authority and the Aga Khan Cultural Service-Pakistan for the preservation of the magnificent Lahore Fort.”

“The Fort symbolizes the rich cultural, historical, and religious heritage and diversity of Lahore, Punjab, and Pakistan.” The Envoy continued.

The Ambassador added that these projects are a testament to the United States and Pakistan’s joint commitment to cultural preservation.

US-Pakistan strengthening ties

Donald Blome said that the United States and Pakistan recently celebrated 75 years of bilateral ties and share a partnership based on common goals, people-to-people exchanges, and mutual interests.

Also read: US Ambassador to Pakistan visits Baluchistan

He expressed the hope that the restoration project will strengthen bilateral ties and encourage economic growth and tourism.

While touring the sites at the Fort, Blome paid respects to Pakistan’s cultural heritage. He emphasized that preservation work strengthens communities, and educates future generations about the tremendous heritage of diversity that has existed for centuries.

Notably, Lahore Fort, the 16th-century Moghul architecture masterpiece, is on the United Nations Educational, Scientific, and Cultural Organization’s (UNESCO) World Heritage Site list.

AFCP, since 2001, has preserved many historical and cultural treasures under threat from environmental pressure or lack of resources in Pakistan including the Wazir Khan Mosque in the walled city.

Additionally, AFCP has so far funded more than 1,000 projects in 133 countries, including 32 preservation projects across Pakistan, at a total cost of $7.6 million.

The restored sites include Buddhist monasteries, Hindu monuments, Sufi shrines & relics of the Mughal Empire.