Bilawal’s Mohenjo Daro fest may damage delicate ruins: Experts

Zardari visited the site Thursday and said every step was being taken to protect the site, and people would not be allowed to roam freely over the ruins.

Mohenjodaro | Updated: February 2, 2014 2:17 am
Bilawal Bhutto Zardari (third from left) visits the site of Sindh Cultural Festival in ruins of Mohenjo Daro to monitor the preparations. (AP) Bilawal Bhutto Zardari (third from left) visits the site of Sindh Cultural Festival in ruins of Mohenjo Daro to monitor the preparations. (AP)

Folk dancers and singers wearing traditional multi-coloured dresses gathered Saturday at one of the world’s most ancient archaeological sites in southern Pakistan for a festival that organizers say aspires to promote peace in a nation where political violence has left some 40,000 dead in recent years.

The festival at Mohenjo Daro aims to publicize the cultural heritage of the country’s south. But it drew controversy when some archaeologists said the event, sponsored by a top Pakistani politician, poses a threat to the site’s unbaked brick ruins dating to the 3rd millennium BC.

Bilawal Bhutto Zardari, the son of assassinated Pakistani Prime Minister Benazir Bhutto, organized the event at Mohenjo Daro, associated with one of the world’s first urban societies, the Indus Valley civilization.  Benazir Bhutto was killed in a 2007 gun and bomb attack widely blamed on Pakistani Taliban militants, and Bilawal has made opposition to militancy a pillar of his platform.
Saturday night’s event will begin with a speech by the 25-year-old politician, now heading the Pakistan People’s Party, associated with the Bhutto-Zardari family since the beginning.

Zardari selected Mohenjo Daro “to promote local culture, peace and tolerance”, government official Saqib Ahmed Soomro said.
But the festival drew controversy when archaeologists said they fear the stage and other event infrastructure could damage the delicate mud ruins.

“It is nothing but insanity”, says archaeologist Asma Ibrahim, a member of the Management Board for Antiquities and Physical Heritage of Sindh government. She says the stage and sound and light show could damage walls. Organizers say there is no risk to the ruins. “There is no risk to Mohenjo Daro because of the festival. Rather, it was never decorated the way we have done now,” Soomro said. He said he supervised arrangements to make sure no harm was caused to the site.

Zardari visited the site Thursday and said every step was being taken to protect the site, and people would not be allowed to roam freely over the ruins. On Saturday evening, hundreds of guests, including foreign diplomats, were attending the event.

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    Feb 3, 2014 at 9:48 am
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  2. I
    INDIA
    Feb 3, 2014 at 9:48 am
    BHART MATA KI JAYRespected Prime Minister, Home Minister ^ Defence Minister KHUN KA BADLA KHUN SEIndia ko terrorist country stan se apne desh mai hua har blasts ka badla lene ke dangerous dangerous planning banani chiye. Terrorist country stan ke naak mai itna dam kar dao ki isko saas lena bhi bhari par jay. india ko intelligenty secret secret plannning banning chiye e terrorist country ane vale bees salo tak bhi naa samagh sake, india ko apna badla terrorist country stan se itt ka javab pathar se dena chiye intelligently secretely terroirst country stan kabhi samagh hi naa sake. india ko terorist country mai bari se bari tabahi hi intelligently secret secret planning banani chiye, tabi sudrega terroirst country stan. terrorist country san ke 1000 vvip and vip logo ka kidnap kar lao, unki gardne katva kar gattter mai phakva dao terrorist country stan unhe salo tak bhi naaa dundh pay, yeh hamare bharat mata ke mahan mahan saput HEM RAJ ko bahut badi sardanjali hogi. JAY HIND
    Reply