Moenjodaro research institute to be set up at site: official

Published October 1, 2016
Minister for Culture Syed Sardar Shah (wearing sunglasses) gestures as he speaks to members of TCC in front of the stupa during a visit of the Moenjodaro city on Friday.—Dawn
Minister for Culture Syed Sardar Shah (wearing sunglasses) gestures as he speaks to members of TCC in front of the stupa during a visit of the Moenjodaro city on Friday.—Dawn

LARKANA: The executive board of the National Fund for Moenjodaro deci­d­ed at a meeting in Moen­jodaro on Friday to set up the Institute of Moenjo­daro Res­e­arch and Resource (IMRR) at the archaeological site to provide research facilities to scholars working on the ancient Indus civilisation.

The meeting chaired by Sindh Minister for Culture Sardar Shah took several other important decisions with regard to preservation plans for Moenjodaro.

It decided to invite foreign experts to help prepare final study report on the dry-core drilling, which had been carried out to determine actual area of the ancient city, so that the report was accepted internationally, said sources privy to the meeting.

The meeting tasked secretary of culture Ghulam Akbar Leghari to request the UNESCO to seek experts’ input on the report. The preliminary report so far made available to the board required counter verification from experts, said the sources.

The participants in the meeting took up the matter of encroachment upon the land falling within the limits of the ancient city as initial reports suggested that houses had been built on 17 acres and 30 acres had been brought under cultivation, said the sources.

The meeting said that since the matter was still pending a decision in Sindh High Court, it would decide the fate of the villages and the encroached land once the actual limits of the site had been demarcated on the basis of results of the dry-core drilling.

By the time the court gave verdicts on the cases the board would hopefully receive the final report from experts on the dry-cry core drilling as well, said the sources said.

The meeting decided to reconstitute Technical Cons­ul­tative Committee (TCC) and asked Syed Hakim Ali Shah, senior member of the executive board, to head it but he declined on health grounds and proposed the name of archaeologist Dr Kaleemullah Lashari, which the board unanimously agreed upon.

The new chairman would replace Dr Michal Janson who would continue to work as senior member on the TCC, said the sources.

The meeting decided to make Dr Qasid Malah, chairman of the department of archaeology at the Shah Abdul Latif University, Khiar­pur, and Ghulam Mustafa Shar, a senior archaeologist, new members of technical committee.

The board decided to launch official website of Moenjodaro within three months and proposed assigning the job to software expert Amar Fayyaz Buriro who was currently working for the Sindhi Language Authority.

The meeting was preparing a master plan on which TCC in coordination with UNESCO would start work soon and the new TCC chairman would further the process, said the sources.

Secretary of Culture Ghulam Akbar Leghari floated the idea of establishing the Institute of Moenjodaro Research and Resource at the archaeological site to provide research facilities to scholars and the meeting unanimously agreed to establish the institute.

The meeting said that two-day international seminar on Moenjodaro would be held in February 2017 at the site and the TCC would start work on it from now onwards.

Published in Dawn, October 1st, 2016

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