WRITTEN BY CH. FAISAL MAHMOOD
As we mentioned earlier also that the basic principle underlying the worldwide elevation of Tourism to its policy status of Visitor Economy is that local assets – whether physical or abstract – should be activated to sustain community pride and to generate income and thereby ensure its socio economic wellbeing.
Other countries, which were part of the Mughal and British Raj like ours, have glorified even the smallest physical evidence of that part of their history; not only palaces but even roadside monuments and animal feed-troughs of that period are taken care of and added to their Tourism assets. But in our country there are several major heritage sites suffering negligence and decay.
Last week the 42nd session of the World Heritage Committee of UNESCO at Manama in Bahrain added 37th Indian heritage site in the list of world heritage site. In the past 5 years alone, India has managed to get inscribed seven of its sites on the World Heritage List of UNESCO. A country like similar to us heritage wise stands second largest in number after China in terms of number of World Heritage properties in ASPAC (Asia and Pacific) region, it is overall sixth in the world.
Thank God our matchless heritage asset, a powerful symbol of love, peace and tolerance, a seventh century the holy figure caved at a cliff, the Buddha of Swat, once destroyed my enemy of our peace, security and heritage is restored again .
A wanton act of vandalism that struck at the heart of the area´s unique history and identity badly damaged both the Buddha and the image of Pakistan in international community as a tolerant country.
But the news of Gandhara Art & architecture losing its charisma & attraction due to the stone crushing plants located in the vicinity of many site is very disturbing and alarming.
Gandhara is an ancient school of art which emerged from the small kingdom of Gandhara located at the borders meeting Punjab and Khyber Pakhtunkhwa, the region boasted of a remarkable cultural romance. The government must make all out efforts to preserve this heritage.
Gandhara civilization, discovered in the 20th century, are found in the archeological sites spread over Taxila, Swat and other parts of NWFP. These matchless asset of heritage and major tourism magnets must be protected and preserve on ant cost.
Gandhara sculptures and art occupy a prominent place in the museums of England, France, Germany, USA, Japan, Korea, China, India and Afghanistan, together with many private collections world over, as well as a vast collection in the museums of Pakistan.
Holiday weekly hopes that the recovered smile of the Buddha and Ghandhara heritage will help Pakistan to boost religious tourism from places such as China, Japan, Korea and Thailand.
We are sure that the threat to cultural heritage has been “minimised” through education and the use of social networks to spread a “soft, good” image. After all our National Heritage is for more important for us; much important then people &Project which poses a grave threat to Pakistani people`s historical and cultural heritage. Nothing should be & would be tolerated at the cost of National Heritage of Whole Pakistan.