Makli necropolis near Thatta in Sindh is spread over 9120 acres. The site has been declared a world and Sindh heritage, having graves of half a million; companions of Prophet, Shaheed Doolah Darya Khan and hundreds of Sindhi intellectuals including renowned Asian historian from this part of the world, Peer Hisamuddin Rashidi are buried here. If we look at ancient history, we will come to know that Thatta was the educational hub of the region where people from Arabian Peninsula in particular, came in droves to get Islamic education. Probably the greatest graveyard in the world, Makli is currently under assault of the encroachment mafia as heavy digging machinery has been deployed here by ex-MPA Ghulam Qadir Paleejo. Mr. Paleejo, by the way, is father of the present provincial minister for culture and tourism, Sussuie Paleejo. Mr. Paleejo had crept into Makli with his bulldozers and excavators under the pretext of doing some drainage excavation, no doubt in complicity with the District Revenue Authority. But people got suspicious and lodged strong protest against his 'nullah-making' work which, they thought, was causing damage to monuments in Makli. A team of journalists from a private TV channel arrived, made some footage but were soon attacked by Mr. Paleejo's men who snatched their recording equipment. They approached the DCO. Their equipment was returned but not the cassettes having the offending footage. Several heritage sites have been hitherto encroached upon or vandalized; Chowkhundy, Janah Courts, Pucca Killa, Runny Kot etc have been occupied by Rangers and various other mafias but the cultural ministry is deaf and dumb. Will it say something on Makli? -GHULAM QADIR THAHEEM, Dadu via e-mail, October 14.