28 April 2007

Pakistan's Cultural Heritage in Peril - Part 3

Here is part 3 of the article by Joachim Hoelzgen

A Fight against Time and the Water Level

In a recent presentation at the Aga Khan's Serena Hotel in Islamabad, Hauptmann outlined to the city's elites the harm the dam project would cause to the cultural legacy of the upper Indus River area. Senior officials from Pakistan's Culture Ministry attended and were surprised to hear what Hauptmann had to say about the remote river canyons. "They were completely taken aback to find that they hadn't been made aware of the cliff drawings before," Hauptmann recalls. It wasn't the kind of event that happens often in the Pakistani capital. With such heavy German involvement in the project, the country's ambassador also attended the event, serving as its chairman.


Nauman said...

I do appreciate your concerns for these historical artifacts but the energy needs of Pakistan are much more crucial than the archaeological value of these artifacts. Pakistan has a population of 165 million and we used to have six rivers but after the 1962 Indus Basin Treaty with India, now India has exclusive rights over the waters of three of those rivers. We are now left with only three rivers. And every year there is a massive shortage of electricity. Even these days there is a load shedding in Karachi for many hours every day and millions of people suffer due to this power shortage. So my conclusion is that dams need to be built but if we can save these archaeologically important artifacts by some other means like by cutting out these stones and taking them to a safe place, it would be a good idea. BTW you’ve got a wonderful and very informative blog.

Twango said...

Thank you for commenting. It is nice to hear an insider's view.

I certainly do not think that the historical aspect should come before the people that are here and now, like you, I hope they can find some way to preserve the historical while still making the progress that needs to occur.

Thanks also for your comments on my blog.