OUTSIDE THE GENERAL ASSEMBLY IN U.N.O NEW YORK
THE CAFE HOUSES THREE WORKS OF M.A. RAHMAN CHUGHTAI
Only four painters represented at United Nations at that time
After the formation of U.N.O, art works were requested as donations from member countries. Prime Minister Liaquat Ali Khan decided to present three paintings of M.A. Rahman Chughtai to the U.N.O in New York. Pitras Bokhari was Pakistan’s representative to the UNO and a personal friend of the artist. Not only the works were presented, they were placed at a very important venue. After people met at General Assembly, there was a cafe outside the hall to accommodate the delegates to the General Assembly. The works were hung there and admired by the most important diplomats of the world. In fact New Year parties were held in this Cafe and Secretary Gebneral Kofi Annan used to be seen dancing in front of these art works on international television.
When the news of the death of M.A. Rahman Chughtai reached the U.N.O, the Secretary General Dr Kurt Waldheim sent his personal as well as official condolence to the Chughtai family on the sad loss of an international figure. I visited New York to thank him personally for the same in 1976. We were in touch for a long time. Dr Walheim even recommended our case to the Government of Punjab related to the building of Chughtai Museum. A great man indeed!
It is a shame that so many people as well as Heads of State visit the U.N.O headquarters, but pay no heed of the art representation at the U.N.O from Pakistan. Either they do not know, or they are not even interested in same. Would it hurt the pride of Prime Minister Nawaz Shareef to be seen with them in New York? Only Allah knows better.