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Invaluable prehistoric sites like Moenjodaro, Harappa as well as the vast tracts of the
Gandhara civilisation present a picture of utter neglect. – Source: Sindhihome
It is with both elation and concern that we welcome the federal culture ministry’s recommendations on the ‘compilation of inventory of cultural assets’ in the country, as reported on Friday. Our sense of elation stems from the fact that at long last the ministry has taken up the important task of documenting the cultural heritage of Pakistani people — including ethnic minorities — and the country’s archaeological sites, which are in dire need of conservation.
However, of particular concern is the fact, as voiced by the relevant subcommittee, that budgetary allocations for the task remain woefully low. The ministry has a paltry Rs3.3m per annum to conserve some 400 listed monuments, which it says boils down to Rs8,000 per heritage site. That is a pathetic state of affairs.
In so diverse a country, the culture ministry needs far greater funding to do justice to all religious and ethnic groups and their individual or shared secular heritage. As it is, the existing condition of even the Mughal monuments, which are wholeheartedly owned by the state and the people alike, presents a picture of utter neglect.
Invaluable prehistoric sites like Moenjodaro, Harappa as well as the vast tracts of the Gandhara civilisation are even worse off. Given the existing funds available with the ministry, the monumental task it wants to undertake seems impossible. The subcommittee on culture fell short of identifying alternative sources of funding, such as foreign donors, Unesco or local philanthropist organisations that may be tapped for the purpose. A lot of what Pakistan has in cultural heritage is after all global in its historical appeal. Efforts should be made to reach out to the world and solicit funds for conserving our cultural treasures across the country.
A view of the dilapidated condition of the archaeological ruins of Moenjodaro (mound of dead)
which remains the most important city of the Indus valley civilization. – APP photo
ISLAMABAD: The federal ministry of culture on Tuesday decided to hand over 126 archaeological sites in Sindh, except Moenjodaro, to the provincial government.
The process of transferring the sites would begin this month with the handover of Makli necropolis, one of the two oldest sites in Sindh.
With the transfer of the Makli necropolis, which is a world heritage site, it is expected that the Sindh culture department would be in good a position to address the old problems of encroachment and theft at the site.
‘The Sindh government has been requesting for administrative rights over the sites. The president of Pakistan intervened and following directives from the prime minister, the federal government transferred the sites to the province,’ said a source in the culture ministry.
Under the Antiquity Act of 1975, archaeological sites were the property of the federal government.
The official said: ‘We are just transferring administrative powers for better conservation and development of Pakistan’s treasures.’
The source said that allocation for archaeological treasures of Pakistan had come down to an embarrassing Rs6,000 per site.
The Editor, Dawn ( http://www.dawn.com )
Your Editorial dated 7th Nov. 2009, in Dawn impressed us very much as you raised an important aspect of the Heritage of Pakistan which is enshrined in the pre muslim age and has a greater impact to reframe the majority-minority relationship in Pakistan. And obviously, this may start a new age of Indo-Pak relationship in a new dimension.
Who can deny the plight of the division of India and the persecution of both Hindu and Muslims in this sub-continent dragging in the miseries of the millennium ? But the misfortune of the Pakistani Hindus is unparallel in any context than their counterpart Muslim Brethren in India.
India has 626 districts with 20 Supremacy Muslim Districts (around 75% and above muslim population), 38 High Influential Muslim Districts (crossing 50% limit), 182 Influential Muslim Districts (around 25%), 120 Mild Potential Muslim Districts (6% to 15%) and 145 Surfacing Muslim Districts. This report has no exaggeration as the 2001 Census reports have been shaped anew by this time with the high growth rate of Muslim Population within the next years. Form this statistics it is evident that the Muslims in India has an overall 30% influence undoubtedly.
Only an un-persecuted community can proceed like in the line of growth of Muslim populace in India.
In India clearly 150 Parliamentary Seats are grossly turned by the Muslim electorates and Muslim has good influence upon 700 Assembly seats in the Indian States.
In India no death report of any muslim has been surfaced due to starvation like Kalahandi, Amlasole , Jhunjur or Gajpet , where the victims are Hindus, Hindu tribes or the aborigines.
No discrimination made any bar to Indian Muslim to possess any key post in administration, police, defense including the Chair of President and Vice-President of India.
The flourishing rates of Mosques, Mazars, Shrines and Islamic Institutions like Madrashas, Islamic Educational Centers, Islamic Publications, Islamic Research Institute, Islamic Media are no less remarkable than Hindus and sometimes surpassed their Hindu Competitors, stretching the varied sectors from Bollywood to the Small Scale Industries, possessing the unlicensed arms to the foreign grants for the fortification of Islamic hold in India. The Muslims of India marching ahead in every step.
But in the story of Hindus in Pakistan shows a holocaust upon a religious minority facing a total ethnic cleansing by the opponent racial group with the help of State Patronage. The 16% Hindus in Pakistan in 1950 came down to only 1.86% which means a total cessation of struggle for existence of Hindus . They are retrogressing in any scale beyond any explanation in the matter of planned persecution predominantly.
Some Anil Dalpat, Rana Bhagwandas, Dr. Gulab Singh Shaheen or Amarjeet Singh are more than exceptions and nothing to do with ensuring Hindu-less Pakistan in coming Decades. Hindu-Sikhs are paying Jijiah Tax, living as bonded labour, lands under Hindu possession are being snatched forcefully, Hindu girls and women are abducted, molested, raped , Hindu employees are mercilessly killed in the factory,the Education system in Pakistan is poisoning the mass against the Hindus, Hindus are discriminated in every respect everywhere in Pakistan. This situation of Hindus in Pakistan is beyond any clarification or narration.
The objects of Hindu reminiscent, Hindu Temples, Hindu-Sikh shrines, the pre-historic or pre-islamic sites connected with Hindu Culture & Heritage are also targeted by such a force who wants to ruin everything attached with Hindu connection. In this context, the effort to protect these sites by the Pak Govt. has been turned as a routine job in a very casual manner.
The Pak Govt. intends to procure vast amount from World Monument Fund, UNESCO or other agencies in the name of protection of Heritage Sites. But the Hindu Heritage sites like Katashraj Temple or the renovation of Sri Krishna Temple in Karachi or the Hinglaj Shrines have no significant change after receiving funds for specific renovation and protection purpose. With the decaying Hindu populace in Pak the Hindu Sites in Pakistan are disappearing fast. Who can deny this?
The argument of the Editor, DAWN in the context of protection of monuments is good but it would be more appreciable if he kindly place a detailed report of the Hindu Temples in Pakistan so existed before 1950, their status up-to-date and action taken report (with utilization of received funds) by the Govt in connection with the funded renovation of Old Hindu Sites in Pakistan.
I should not embarrass him by an request to delineate a plight of Hindus in Pakistan chronologically, better he may prepare a commentary about the last phase of Hindus in Pakistan so that one may get a live feed in the museums where the items of Hindu Life in Pakistan are kept as historical object of research and reliquary.
I expect your note for the above with a comment whether the Hindus of India can save the Hindus in Pakistan and whether the National Heritage of Pakistan is void from Hindu Heritage.
Moderator , Hindu Existence Group.