The Makli, Saved

Written by Ch. Faisal Mahmood

The most 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 year when  Pakistan was expecting UNESCO to add 18 more Pakistan sites in the list of World heritage sites; a very  disappointing and disturbing news came that the world heritage committee of UNESCO in its meeting held in Turkey had expressed serious concern over the fast crumbling Ramsar Site, the Makli necropolis and  discussed the option of putting the world’s second largest historical necropolis on the list of ‘endangered world heritage sites’. However, it granted the Sindh government one year’s time to respond appropriately to avoid such an action.

The then, newly inducted provincial Minister for Culture, Tourism and Archaeology had given the assurances and we appreciate his consistant efferts as he also assured Holiday Weekly in a private chat that he will not let that happened to such great heritage of Sindh valley.

The lastst news is that United Nations Educational, Scientific and Cultural Organisation (UNESCO) has withdrawn its warning about putting the Makli necropolis, a world heritage site, on its list of ‘endangered’ sites. The Sindh Culture& tourism Minister presented the case so well at the Unesco World Heritage Committee’s 41st session at Krakow, Poland and presented a master plan to the participants to assure them that all their fears about the site had been taken care of in the arrangement. A detrimental of Pakistan tourism, the 18th Constitutional Amendment had given all heritage sitesto the respective provincial governments.

We appreciate the singular efforts of Mr. Shah in this regard and we hope that he will stick to his all commitments & assurances, he has given at $1st session of UNECO that the Sindh government will establish three weather stations at the site for weather updates, crack monitors and the guards would be deployed across the necropolis, spread over 10 square kilometers.

However, The world heritage committee expressed his great concern about the  encroachment of the site’s land and theft of its properties and asked to  ensure proper maintenance and preservation, and protect the site by raising a boundary wall around it.

We request Sindh government to mobilize all administrative available resources to ensure protection of Makli, the world heritage site, a matchless Heritage tourism asset should be passed on to next generations safe & sound.

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