Pakistan’s natural heritage is suffering a rapid loss at the hands of smugglers and illegal excavation. Recently highlighted in a report shared by the Directorate General of Intelligence and Investigation Karachi, one of the biggest attempts to smuggle at least 1,050 antiquities out of Pakistan was made in a bid. Later on, a team of archaeologists from Islamabad confiscated the artifacts that ranged from prehistoric ages dating back to 2000 BC from the Islamic period. Furthermore, the archaeologists stated that a great deal of work was to be done on the artifacts to determine their exact dates. The items will be handed over to the Ministry of National Heritage once the chronological method of dating is conducted.

The geographical significance of Pakistan reflects in the abundance of its antiquities, and it certainly is a shame that our heritage is so maltreated that artifacts are being sneaked away right under our noses. Not only is smuggling common, but we also lack the scientific method of laboratory testing and specifying relics to their precise dates. Counterfeiting is rampant and so is governmental negligence toward the art we have inherited from one of the most ancient civilizations in the world.

Condition and provenance are the two most important factors in maintaining antiquities. Provenance details the origin and former ownership of the object while condition entails the minute method of extracting a relic without damaging its particular details. Instead of celebrating what we have been handed down through sheer coincidental geographic location, we are allowing the corrosion of our very own heritage to go on unchecked. Museums lack funds to maintain relics, laboratories remain inefficient in safeguarding them while the ministry is present to give lip service. These relics need to be preserved or it will be impossible to recover them once they are gone.