Lahore Fort is one of the most popular tourist attractions in Pakistan. The Lahore Fort was inscribed as a UNESCO World Heritage Site in 1981 and I can claim that Lahore Fort is one of the astonishing structures of its kind in the world having the world’s largest picture wall and the majestic mirror palace. […]
UNESCO recommended that a boundary wall be built around the majestic Makli necropolis. It could not materialise as votes are dearer to the Pakistan Peoples Party, says the World Heritage Watch Report 2018.
World Heritage Watch is a Berlin-based independent body overlooking conservation activities at UNESCO-listed heritage sites. In its 2018 report, anthropologist Zulfiqar Ali Kalhoro writes about Makli, the largest necropolis of the world in Thatta that contains the tombs and graves of kings, queens, poets and religious scholars.
“I have been writing about these issues since forever but nobody listens,” Dr Kalhoro tells SAMAA Digital. “You see, big money is involved.”
His report says that local elites, who have occupied Makli land, resisted building a boundary wall. “The local Shirazi family is creating problems and influencing the State Party [Sindh, Pakistan] not to complete the boundary wall – it would appear that political parties listen more to local elites who are also their voters,” says the report. “They don’t want to lose their votebank, and this is one of the reasons the boundary wall has been stopped.”
At Lumbini in Nepal, we have a connection with Buddhism like a baby has with the breast. It is religious and spiritual, yes, but far more. Since it is the birthplace of Lord Buddha and a pilgrimage site, Buddhism – its sacraments and ceremonies – flows through the streets and sites of Lumbini like blood through veins. It is a part of our everyday life, like to a Muslim living in Mecca or a Christian in Vatican. So when I heard from my friends Bikram Pandey and Sarad Pradhan – who had been to Pakistan on the Buddha Circuit Tourism – about the country’s Hindu and Buddhist monuments, I decided to go and explore our heritage there.
My Napalese friends were much surprised to see Hindu temples in Pakistan well preserved, an impression that you don’t get from news media. My visit itself threw up more surprises. I found Pakistan quite different from what I had perceived it to be. The roads were safe, the security situation much better than what I had expected; the infrastructure good and the people friendly.
When it comes to the ancient history, Pakistan has its fair share of treasures of which the most prominent and undeniably important archaeological sites in South Asia is Taxila, a place where rich human civilizations rose and declined over the last five millennia.
Sadeed Arif, assistant professor of archaeology at the Quaid-e-Azam University in Islamabad, told Xinhua that Taxila was ruled by various empires over the centuries for its special location and also an important trade route in the times of yore. The ancient city used to be a regional or national capital.
Once strategically important place that linked Southern, Western and Central Asia regions to the West, Taxila was a meeting point of various cultures which include Achaemenids, Hellenistic, Mauryans, Indo-Greek, Kushan, Gupta, Huns and eventually the Muslims, said Arif, adding that different religions such as Hinduism, Jainism and Buddhism had been practiced in Taxila.