THATTA, April 10: Speakers at a seminar have called for restoration of the remains of historical city Bhambhore and warned if the culture department does not take steps on a war footing to save the site it may disappear brick by brick.
They stressed the need for the preservation of the ancient city and provision of facilities for local and foreign visitors to help disseminate the history of the land.
The seminar on ?Bhambhore: its historical background and environmental threats? was organised by the Mehran Humanitarian and Development Organisation at Bhambhore.
UNDP-GEF Small Grant Programme?s provincial coordinator Masood Lohar blamed climate changes, environmental degradation, non-release of water downstream Indus since two decades and increase in salinity for the decay in historical sites in Thatta, including Bhambhore.
Bhambhore said to be the place around which Sassui-Punhoon love story revolved had great tourism potential. If the government paid serious attention to restoring the historical site it would help new generation be aware of its history, he said.
He said that a replica of excavated layers kept in the museum provided evidence of existence of layer upon layer of ancient civilisations, starting somewhere from 1 BC to nearly AD 13.
He said that the town slowly lost its lustre after Indus changed its course. Historic evidence unearthed by archaeologists suggested that the town was destroyed by a catastrophic event in 1250 AD, he said.
Historian Nawaz Ali Shouq said that over 50 historical graveyards and sites in Thatta had partially or completely vanished because of environmental degradation and lack of attention by authorities.
He appealed to the UNDP-GEF Small Grants Programme provincial coordinator to help maintain such sites, including Makli necropolis and Keenjhar Lake.
Writer G.N, Mughal lamented general attitude towards historical sites and said that without people?s interest in these sites the situation would not improve.
He said that there had been no improvement in the ruined city since the establishment of museum at the site in 1960. People were reluctant to visit it because of lack of electricity, potable water, proper road access and a fun land.
National Humanitarian Development Organisation chief Humsafar Gadahi said the historical site had fallen into decay and the culture department had paid no attention to it. He called for restoration of the site.
Thatta DCO Manzoor Ali Shaikh, Shahid Saeed and Hameed Sabzoi also spoke at the seminar.
Later, the DCO performed stone-laying ceremony of an overhead water tank and waiting room being constructed at the site through financial assistance of the UNDP-GEF. He announced compilation of a comprehensive book on Bhambhore.
Our Larkana correspondent adds: Activists of Sindh United Party (SUP) and the Soorath Saqafati Sangat held a demonstration on Saturday in front of the tomb of Shah Baharo, a general of Kalhoro era, to mark the general?s 274th death anniversary.
They expressed concern over deteriorating condition of the tomb and called for steps to preserve it. A fort constructed by Shah Baharo had completely vanished and his tomb itself faced waterlogging and salinity, they said.
He said that both the federal and provincial departments tasked to look after the archaeological sites in the province had failed to protect them. The upcoming rains could inflict irreparable losses on the tomb, he cautioned
Banbhore is an archeological site located at 60 kilometers from Karachi. This was the site which was one of the last coquests of the Alexander the great and it is also the first city conquered by the Arabs in 711 hence it is called Babul islam the gate to Islam.. Full Day Excursion to Thatta. (7 – 8 Hours)
Travel & Culture Services offers daily tours to Thatta which include a guided tour of the archeological site and its magical museum which uses the sunlight to lit the artifacts