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Communities should be given heritage sites’ ownership

August 19, 2015

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SAHIWAL: Delegates of Harappa International Conference visit archaeological site. — Dawn
SAHIWAL: Delegates of Harappa International Conference visit archaeological site. — Dawn

SAHIWAL: Participants at the concluding session of a three-day international conference on Harappa stressed the need for transfering the ownership of cultural and historical heritage to youth and local communities.

The concluding session was held at the COMSATS Institute of Information Technology (CIIT), Sahiwal campus, on Monday, while the first two-day proceedings were held in Lahore.

The conference was organised by the Punjab Higher Education Commission and the Provincial Department of Archeology. A panel discussion on ‘Devolution and Legislation Challenges: Future Direction’ was conducted by panelists Prof Dr Mark Kenoyer from the University of Wisconsin, USA, Dr Uzma Rizvi from the Pratt Institute, USA, Porf Dr Shahid A Rajput, Zainul Abideen, Aisha Asim Imdad, and Afzal Khan from the Department of Archaeology.

They said Pakistan should make its cultural and heritage sites an attraction for tourists the way India, Egypt and China had done in these sectors. They said the 18th Amendment allowed Punjab to develop the 5,000-year-old Harappan heritage as one of the biggest tourist spots.

After the concluding session delegates and participants visited the academic block of the Montgomery Museum, which was inaugurated by local and international delegates.

Dr Mark was happy to visit the Harappa site.

“Visiting Harrapan site is a remarkable experience of my life,” he said. Hasan Khokkar, curator of the Harappa Museum, welcomed the delegates and participants at the Harappa archeological sites.

The CIIT, Sahiwal campus, has established a Department for Heritage Studies to study and research the protection of national heritage. The campus has signed a memorandum of understanding with the Punjab government to take care of heritage sites like Harappa and Rohtas Fort. The CIIT is also working with the Department of Archaeology to bring Harappa on the World Heritage list of UNESCO.

Published in Dawn, August 19th, 2015

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