WRITTEN BY CH. FAISAL MEHMOOD
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.
The Government of Punjab have convinced the supreme Court and assured the UNESCO that the importance of the world heritage site, Shalimar Gardens was much in consideration in the mind of reputed architects and engineers during designing and planning. They deliberately kept the design slim and sleek just not to create significant visual barrier. The government ensured that Orange Line project will not cause any reversible/irreversible damage to Shalamar Gardens. Its integrity and outstanding universal value will not be compromised at any stage.
Last year the world heritage committee of UNESCO in its annual expressed serious concern over the fast crumbling Ramsar Site, the Makli necropolis.
The meeting discussed the option of putting the world’s second largest historical necropolis on the list of ‘endangered world heritage sites’. However, it granted the government of Pakistan one year’s time to respond appropriately to avoid such an action. The timely action by provincial Minister for Culture, Tourism and Archaeology and Sindh chief minister the situation is for more better and this great heritage is in limelight. Sindh government, in collaboration with the local government and other donors, has launched a shuttle service to facilitate tourists and visitors in the Makli, a hilly area with an ancient graveyard.
Organizing of largely first International Conference on Makli is a great achievement and a major step to preserve this matchless heritage asset. Holiday highly appreciate the efforts of Culture, Tourism and Antiquities Department government of Sindh and the Endowment Fund Trust.
Sindh Chief Minister assurances to implement, whatever comes out from the conference, his government will adopt each and every single recommendation and suggestion are very encouraging in this regards.
The tourism minister assured that from Moen Jo Daro to the Lakheen-Jo-Daro, from Aamri to Kotdiji, from Ran-Kachh to Rani Kot and many other historical heritages sites of Indus valley will be protected and preserve .
Still the government must mobilize all administrative available resources to ensure protection of the world heritage site and convinced UNESCO by its action that the necropolis is safe.