Ruins of Moenjo Daro: Culture officials no-show at court
KARACHI: Concerns on national as well as international levels have been raised about the damages that the world heritage site of Moen Jo Daro may have suffered because of the opening ceremony of the Sindh Festival 2014. None of the officials from the Sindh government, however, appeared in court on Wednesday to quash these concerns.
The Sindh High Court took up the petition of Qazi Ali Athar on Wednesday but no official from the culture and heritage department turned up to brief the two judges about the current status of the site. “The official respondents did not appear and subsequently, the hearing has been put off indefinitely,” said Qazi Athar, the environmental attorney.
On January 30, the high court had ordered the culture and heritage authorities to take “utmost care” of the archaeological site so that no damage is caused while organising the Sindh Festival.
The secretary of the culture and heritage department and advocate-general were issued notices to appear on February 19 [Wednesday] with their comments in this regard.
In absence of the officials, the bench headed by SHC Chief Justice Maqbool Baqar, adjourned the hearing so that the respondents could appear on the next date of hearing with comments.
In his plea, Qazi Athar had alleged that the culture and heritage secretary, under the control and command of the chief secretary, was destroying the heritage site of Moen Jo Daro — a symbol of the Indus Valley civilization (dating back to 10,000 years BC) — by holding a cultural show.
“That this cultural activity may cause damages to the originality of the site is of high importance for all human beings,” he stated, expressing apprehension that if extreme care was not taken by the organiser [culture and heritage department] in making arrangements, the festival could cause irretrievable damage to the site which would be a national tragedy.