Of old and magnificent: ‘Heritage sites in K-P must be preserved’

Speakers demand Peshawar DC to impose section 144 to protect historical sites


Our Correspondent February 06, 2016
Speakers demand Peshawar DC to impose section 144 to protect historical sites. PHOTO: EXPRESS

PESHAWAR: Heritage sites in Khyber-Pakhtunkhwa need to be preserved as many of them have been damaged, demolished and neglected by the provincial government.

This was the gist of discussions held during a seminar, titled ‘Save Our Heritage’, held at a hotel in the city on Saturday. The seminar was organised by the Institute of Architects of Pakistan, Peshawar Chapter and Sarhad Conservation Network (SCN).

On the occasion, speakers asked Peshawar DC Riaz Mehsud to impose Section 144 to protect historical buildings and sites.

Muhammad Khalid, an architect, said, “We are losing our heritage sites one by one.”

He added heritage sites can help promote tourism and generate revenue for the government, but the K-P government has failed to utilise its resources in this regard.

“We have never seen the provincial government take measures to protect the heritage for the last several decades,” Khalid said.

He urged the government to declare Bazar-e-Kalan, which consists of old traditional buildings, a heritage site so that it can be preserved. The architect said efforts were made in the past to declare the locality a heritage site. However, such initiatives have been in vain.

Participants asked the government to invite U and Agha Khan Foundation to help conserve historical buildings.

SCN convener Adil Zarif said a committee should be constituted in each district of the province, which will devise strategies and guide the government in its efforts to preserve the heritage sites.

He added, “A large number of historical buildings have been commercialised while others have been neglected.”

Similarly, the Peshawar DC said heritage was the most important source of tourism and they will make efforts to protect the culture of
the province.

A walk was also held to create awareness among the public regarding cultural heritage.

Published in The Express Tribune, February 7th, 2016.

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