Call to preserve KP’s cultural heritage for future generations
PESHAWAR: To mark the International Day of Monuments and Sites, the directorate of archaeology and museums organised here on Thursday a two-day photo exhibition at the historic Gor Khuttree and a conference of archaeologists at Sethi House.
Inaugurating the exhibition, ANP Senator Haji Mohammad Adeel said the government should preserve old buildings as they were part of the local heritage.
He said Sikhs used Gor Khuttree as their headquarters in 1826, while the British established their secretariat there.
According to him, Peshawar having many such historic buildings and old houses is also the birthplace of Bollywood legends Dilip Kumar and Raj Kapoor.
Senator Adeel urged the government to purchase 10 historical houses located in Mohallah Sethian and preserve them for coming generations or at least ensure their maintenance.
He said the government was giving top priority to repair, renovation and preservation of historical buildings in the province, including Peshawar, to preserve local heritage.
Provincial sports minister Aqil Shah, other officials of the sports, tourism, archaeology and museums department and a large number of people were also present at the ceremony.
As for the conference, provincial tourism, archaeology and museums minister Aqil Shah told participants that Peshawar, which was the oldest living city of South Asia and also known as a city of flowers, had many archeological sites which needed to be preserved as national heritage.
He said his government had spent millions of rupees to preserve the beautiful old Sehti House and continue doing so for it.
Sehti House belonging to a trader family of olden days situated in Mohalla Sethian is a fine piece of art. Recently purchased by the provincial government for preservation, it is around 113 years old.
APP adds that noted artist and conservationist Faryal Gohar welcomed the start of the conservation of 19th century Sehti House, also known as architectural jewel of the ancient walled city, and declared it the first step towards protection of the rich cultural heritage of Peshawar, the oldest city of South Asia.
Talking to reporters at the conference, she appreciated the provincial government’s decision to buy Sehti House for conservation and said it would help protect the architectural jewel of Peshawar from decaying and show the next generations about their ancestors’ love for art and heritage.
Ms Gohar said it was the responsibility of Peshawar people to preserve archeological sites of their city as the government alone couldn’t do so and people had to do their bit for it.
“There’re a lot of such buildings in Peshawar, especially in inter-city, which needs preservation. Dhaki Nalbandi is one of them. The government can’t purchase all of them and therefore, it is planned that people living there will be educated about importance of such sites and ways and means for their preservation,” she said.
The conservationist, who is also the member of Advisory Committee on Conservation of Sethi House, said efforts were underway to preserve Kapoor House located in the interior parts of Peshawar and that she was in constant contact with Kapoor family for the purpose. She said Kapoor family wanted to extend all possible support and assistance for the house’s protection.
Director (archeology and museums) Shah Nazar said on the occasion that in 2006, the government purchased a house, which belonged to businessmen Haji Karim Buksh, one of the founding members of the Sethi dynasty. He said conservation of Sethi House would complete after June 2012 at the cost of Rs30 million.