The Sindh High Court has ruled that the Mohatta Palace will be used to set up a medical and dental college for girls. The ruling came over a long-term dispute on the heritage property of Fatima Jinnah.
In 1927, Shivrattan Mohatta, a successful Marwari businessman, commissioned the Mohatta Palace to be constructed in the affluent neighbourhood of Clifton. The Palace was said to be a recreation of the Anglo-Mughal palaces of the Rajput princes. After the partition, the property was handed over to Fatima Jinnah. Upon her demise, the government of Sindh took over the building.
The decision to convert Mohatta Palace into a medical college has been met with reservations. This is because people believe that a country should try to preserve and protect their heritage and historical sites to honour their history. The demolition of such sites will disconnect the present from the past. Also, the reformation of the Palace will require funds for reparations and maintenance. Therefore, it should be left as it is so that it can serve as an embodiment the country’s culture, tradition, and history in the decades to come.
Published in The Express Tribune, October 19th, 2021.