KARACHI: Mr. Jahangir Siddiqui , Chairman Endowment Fund Trust (AFT) Sindh has suggested formation of a committee comprising representatives from AFT, Karachi Press Club, civil society and the architects of Karachi to prevent the encroachment on Karachi’s cultural and heritage buildings and to restore them to their original glory.
“We need to strengthen our heritage laws to protect our cultural and architectural heritage and to remove loopholes in the existing laws to safeguard our heritage”, Jahangir Siddiqui said while speaking as a chief guest at a ceremony to handover the heritage building of the Karachi Press Club (KPC) after restoration to the club’s management here the other day.
The building of the press club, which was constructed in 1890 with stone and lime, was completely renovated and restored by the Endowment Fund Trust with the help of over 10 million rupees in over five years’, and on Monday it was finally handed over to the KPC management at a ceremony attended by the management and trustees of AFT, civil society representatives, Karachi’s administration as well as large number of journalists.
Jahangir Siddiqui praised the removal of encroachments in Karachi, especially from the cultural and architectural monuments but added there is still need to protect and restore several of Karachi’s cultural and historical heritage structures, for which joint and sustained efforts by the AFT, media, architects and the civil society are required.
Terming the restoration of an old, cultural and architectural structure as an uphill task, Jahangir Siddiqui said the process not only takes a great deal of money but also hard work, passion and dedication as each and every brick and stone has to be replaced with the same type and shape of stone and brick. “When we were restoring Ghulam Shah Kalhoro’s shrine, the replacement of each tile cost us eight times the cost of the ordinary tiles”, he said.