ISLAMABAD: A Senate panel on Tuesday seeking information on initiatives taken for the protection of archaeological heritage expressed concerns over disappearance of antiques from Peshawar Museum.
Senate Special Committee to provide mechanism for implementation of recommendations of the Committees adopted by the House has asked the Directorate of Archaeology and Museums (DOAM) to provide details of the excavations made so far at the archaeological sites and steps taken for protection of antiques and other items of historical value.
Senator Dilawar Khan, Convener of the Special committee to provide for mechanism for implementation of recommendations of Committees adopted by the House, said that there are reports of irregularities which need to be fixed.
While discussing the issue raised by Senator Sitara Ayaz regarding reports about misplacement of precious antiques from Peshawar Museum, the Committee observed that the matter needs to be investigated thoroughly. Senator Sitara Ayaz said that there were reports circulating in print, electronic and social media about misplacement of precious items from Peshawar Museum. She said that the matter is being investigated by NAB, Peshawar and the bureau has arrested an official of the museum.
She asked the authorities concerned about the current status of all the precious items. “Precious items were sent abroad for exhibitions but have not been brought back by the departments concerned,” Senator Sitara Ayaz said. She further said that it is a serious matter and the House of Federation would look into the issue to fix the responsibility and streamline affairs.
Senator Dilawar Khan remarked that archaeology and history tell us about our culture, roots and civilisation and it need to be protected.
K-P Secretary Sports and Culture Department informed that all the record and objects of Peshawar Museum are intact and there is nothing missing or stolen from the antiquities. “If record is intact and nothing is missing, then why an official is being investigated by NAB,” Senator Dilawar Khan questioned. He said that the committee will visit the museum soon.
Committee after detailed discussion directed the department to provide list of excavation, objects discovered and security measures adopted for protection of the valuables items. The meeting was attended by Senators Khanzada Khan, Javed Abbasi, Waleed Iqbal, Nighat Mirza, Molvi Faiz Muhammad Rana Mehmood ul Hassan, Naseebullah Bazai, Sardar Muhammad Shafique Tareen, Sitara Ayaz and Shammim Afridi.
Published in The Express Tribune, March 27th, 2019.
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