The residents of Peshawar have hailed Pakistani Prime Minister Nawaz Sharif's move to turn legendary actor Dilip Kumar's ancestral house here into a museum though archaeological officials regard the proposal as "unfeasible".
"We greatly appreciate the announcement made by Prime Minister Nawaz Sharif regarding declaration of Dilip Kumar's house in Peshawar as 'national heritage'," said Adil Zareef, Head Sarhad Conservation Network (SCN).
Adil said it is a matter of pride for the people of Pakistan that top Bollywood stars belonged to Peshawar before they migrated to India.
91-year-old Kumar's 130 square metre ancestral home is located in Peshawar's famous Qisa Khawani Bazaar area and is in a shabby condition.
The house has been declared as a national heritage by Prime Minister Sharif who has ordered authorities to acquire the dilapidated property and convert it into a museum, hoping the move would bring Pakistan and India closer.
The government is planning to invite Kumar and his family members after converting the house into a museum.
Kumar was born as Yusuf Khan in Peshawar. In the late 1930s, his family relocated to Mumbai. Apart from Kumar, the Kapoor family, Shah Rukh Khan and Anil Kapoor also have roots here.
"The decision of Prime Minister will portray a positive image of Peshawar apart from improving cultural contacts among the people of Pakistan and India," said Adil.
Kumar and other Bollywood top actors have fans across the world and giving recognition to such celebrities will send a positive message to the whole world, he added.
"It was a dream of people of Peshawar to give recognition to people who have roots in this ancient city and were known across the globe for their best performance in their respective fields," Adil said.
Adil also urged the provincial government to fully cooperate with federal government in execution of the plan.
Cultural Heritage Council secretarygeneral Shakeel Waheed Ullah, who campaigned to preserve Kumar's house, also appreciated the decision.
Shakeel said he had made a commitment of saving Kumar's house at all costs even if he would have to collect donation for payment to the current owner.
The Prime Minister has taken a very appropriate decision at a very appropriate time because the house is in dilapidated condition and needs repair and reconstruction at the earliest, Shakeel said.
However, the Department of Archaeology and Museums has turned down the government's request to convert the thespian's house into a