The historical radio station in Peshawar, established in 1936, which was set on fire by protesters on May 9, was the country’s oldest radio station. Its archives had one of the most important cassettes for Pakistan: the announcement of an independent state, the first official declaration of our independence. That cassette has been reduced to ashes.
The Department of Archeology and Museums is tasked with the conservation of our architectural heritage, but have failed to do so, maybe because of the shortage of funds or conservation of these historical sites is not high in their priority. This article explores three historical sites in Pakistan of great importance, but now the issue is of their survival.
Mohenjo Daro is the most important of the three sites, and was recognised as a UNESCO World Heritage Site in 1980. Mohenjo Daro is a victim of climate change, and the floods that have become frequent in recent times continue to harm this historical site. The rainfall in 2022 damaged the infrastructure and created furrows at the site, which is worrying for conservationists of the historic place. Moreover, the rainwater destroyed its protective outer coverings and hence exposing its original walls in 2022. This alarming development, according to archaeologists, could potentially lead to the walls completely crumbling and collapsing if floods continue at periodic intervals. With the monsoon just around the corner, it is necessary to take the necessary precautionary measures in order to preserve this ancient site, a center piece of the Indus Valley Civilization.
Jehangir Kothari Parade
Jehangir Kothari Parade, a promenade, was built on the land of Karachi by Seth Jehangir in 1919. The then capital’s skyrocketing population and urbanization managed to affect this historical work. The vision of this historical site is obscured by numerous overpasses. However, it is not the urbanization that has caused the decay of this monument, but the salty air of the sea that continues to damage it.
Guru Nanak Palace
The centuries-old ‘Guru Nanak Palace’ was partially destroyed when a group of vandals attacked this historical site. Authorities must ensure the security of such archeological gems.
Mohenjo Daro ruins
There are several Acts in place to protect these cultural and historical landmarks, the most important of which is the Sindh Cultural Heritage Preservation Act that was introduced in 1994. While this Act has provided legal cover for these historical sites, but it is not being implemented. As Khalil Gibran once famously said, “He who denies heritage, has no heritage”. It is important to give high priority to the conservation of our architectural heritage, otherwise, we will have no praiseworthy historic site left in Pakistan.