KARONJHAR is a magnificent range of mountains located in Nagarparkar district in Sindh. It stretches for over 20 kilometres. The beauty of these mountains attracts thousands of tourists every year. These mountains are also rich in mineral deposits.
From a historical point of view, Karonjhar bears a great significance. Roplo Kolhi, a Sindhi freedom fighter, fought against British rulers in the 19th century in these mountains. And, near the Karonjhar are many historical places such as 16th century Jain Mandir, Bhodesar Mosque, Hidden well and Marvi’s well. Apart from them several Sindhi folk tales, including Hothal Pari and Sarangar, are associated with Karonjhar.
It is, however, unfortunate that such a great cultural heritage is under threat from several corporates and influential people, who are involved in the illegal cutting of Karonjhar to obtain granite.
As a matter of fact, this illegal cutting, which has been going on at a rapid rate, would leave a long-lasting impacts on Karonjhar mountain and villages in the vicinity. This will not only undermine the beauty of Karonjhar but also will trigger land-slides, forcing people to leave.
In the developed world, cultural heritage is regarded no less than a treasure. And, every possible measure is taken to protect cultural heritage sites. As a consequence, there are many ancient places the world over which UNESCO has declared as world heritage site. On the contrary, cultural heritages sites in Pakistan are being ignored.
I wonder, when the government will realise the worth of cultural heritage and take serious measures to protect Karonjhar.
Aasim Aslam Abbasi
Published in Dawn, November 30th, 2019