KARACHI - Mayor Wasim Akhtar stressed the need for making strictest laws for preservation of heritage buildings in Karachi so that these could be saved from demolition. The provincial and federal governments have this responsibility to avert decaying of oldest structures of historical importance.

He expressed these views while speaking as chief guest in the inaugural session of the seminar titled “Architectural Gems of Karachi” held in the Khaliqdina Hall by Culture and Sports department KMC with the coordination of NED University of Engineering and Technology on Tuesday.

Secretary of Culture, Tourism and Antiquities Department Sindh Ghulam Akbar Leghari, former secretary and member advisory committee on heritage Dr. Kaleem-ullah Lashari, Chairperson Architecture & Planning department NED University Prof Dr Anila Naeem, Assistant Prof Saeeduddin, Chairman Finance Committee Nadeem Hidayat Hashmi, Senior Director Culture and Sports Rehan Khan and other officers were also present on this occasion.

The mayor said Rs20 million were earmarked in the current budget for restoration of Khaliqdina Hall to its original shape whereas other historical buildings owned by KMC were also being restored.

He appreciated the seminar said such informative events would prove beneficial especially for the young generations and our students who have to protect our heritage in future.

Akhtar said it was unfortunate that we always treated our heritage badly whereas in developed countries they ensure full preservation of heritage buildings. He assured full cooperation from his office to the organisers of the seminar and said such seminars need to be held on regular basis.

Speaking on the occasion, secretary of Culture, Tourism and Antiquities Department Sindh Ghulam Akbar Leghari said Karachi have more historical buildings than any other city of the country but some mafias are up against this heritage and want to demolish these structures of historical importance for their own commercial benefits.

He said this heritage belongs not only to a certain department or organization but to all of us and as a citizen of Karachi we have to play our role for its preservation.

He called this good omen that the recent ruling of the Supreme Court made this hard for this mafia to demolish any structure in the city which has been declared as heritage.

Prof Anila Naeem thaked the Mayor for providing this opportunity and said that this would pave the way for long term cooperation in the preservation of historical buildings of KMC.