A few weeks back Bilawal Bhutto visited the historic site of the internationally recognized ruins of Moenjodaro near Larkana in Sindh and showed great concern for the regretful condition of the ancient civilization. He emphasized that the site needs immediate attention from the concerned authorities but unfortunately the government has done nothing concrete to save the oldest civilization of the world.

Owing to lack of funds from the government, Bilawal Bhutto has decided that he will collect funds from different countries in order to save this valuable site. How and why Moenjodaro civilization died is still a mystery. Quite ironically the site is experiencing another slow death, thanks to the negligence of the government, especially its department of preserving historic sites, but then this country does not respect the living who will respect the dead?

The Moenjodaro Conservation and Research Centre meant to preserve the ruins have done nothing so far, I am sure most of the funds must have gone to the employees, perhaps Sindh government is hesitant to give money to protect the site as it is also lacking funds for such ‘useless things’ but can give huge perks for life to members of our assemblies?

Lack of security has led to the theft of several priceless seals from the museum about few years back and nothing has been done to recover them. There is no good hotel near the site. Every year many tourists come, especially from Japan and Europe, but due to the shortage of reasonable accommodation most of them stay only for a short period. To make matters worse, there are not enough flights.

Quite incredibly there is so far no official website on this great civilization because of which most of the visitors have no access to proper information. One of the reasons, was the federal government is more interested in the Harappa site which is near Sahiwal in Punjab than in Moenjodaro. The government-owned concerned organizations are publicizing Harappa at the cost of Moenjodaro.

The government has been advised by those concerned in and outside the country to take measures to prevent this priceless piece of our archaeological and historical heritage from crumbling away but so far nothing has been done. The government collects an entry fee from visitors but one wonders where the money goes because nothing seems to be spent on maintaining and protecting the site from further ruin. Regrettably, the government seems uninterested in setting up a fund for saving Moenjodaro.

Bilawal Bhutto should formulate a long-term conservation and maintenance plan with Sindh Government to save Moenjodaro. It should also properly publicize the site abroad. This should happen before our past is allowed to die before our eyes.


Karachi, November 15.