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Kalash valleys will be lost if not included in Unesco World Heritage

Published Jul 24, 2012 12:00am


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The Kalash valleys of Pakistan – Photo courtesy Creative Commons
The Kalash valleys of Pakistan – Photo courtesy Creative Commons

PESHAWAR, July 23: The Kalash Environmental Protection Society has demanded of the government to submit a bid to the United Nations Educational, Scientific and Cultural Organisation (Unesco) to include the Kalash valleys’ culture in the World Heritage List for preservation.

In a press release issued here on Monday, the society said that the Kalash valleys were changing fast. Unauthorised construction, destruction of forests and smuggling of timber were the external factors that were affecting the Kalash community while increasing pressure of acculturation and resources were influencing the community from within, it added.

The release said that the final date in the current year for the government to submit a bid of inscription to the World Heritage List was September 30. Otherwise Kalash valleys would have to wait for another year and who knew how much of what could be saved would be lost by that time, it added.

The release said that no discussion about diversity of Pakistani culture and cultural heritage was complete without mentioning Kalash valleys. However, in official record Kalash valleys were not different from hundreds of other valleys in Pakistan, it added.

Pakistan has six properties inscribed on Unesco World Heritage List. These include Moenjodaro, Taxila, ruins of Takht Bhai, Monuments in Makli, Rohtas Fort and Shahi Qilla and Shalamar Gardens in Lahore.

According to the statement there were 18 Pakistani sites on Unesco Tentative List, one biosphere reserve and 14 national parks with the total of more than 150 internationally recognised protected sites, but, unfortunately, Kalash valleys are not included in any of these categories.

It recalled that during a workshop held on February 29, 2012 in the Heritage Library at Lok Virsa the then federal secretary for national heritage and integration Faridullah Khan had said that keeping in view the heritage of the Kalash valleys and the threats posed to it, the ministry was keen to come up with a comprehensive plan for safeguarding it.

It was decided that the draft proposal to enroll Kalash on the World Heritage List would be prepared within 45 days, special development package for Kalash valleys would be announced and the government would take steps for preservation and documentation of Kalasha culture. “However, the people of the valleys have no information about the status of the draft proposal,” the press release said.


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Comments (18) Closed

dan Jul 24, 2012 03:14pm
lets get money from UNESCO so our politicians can eat it
Tariq Jul 24, 2012 04:04pm
The Kalash Valley could be a "gem" for tourism attraction globally but only if preserved and developed! And this obviously would involve the tourism board of Pakistan and ultimately the Government of Pakistan. They must first spend to preserve and develop in order to generate from tourism.
Jamshed Khan Jul 24, 2012 02:04pm
Please save this piece of paradise (like the rest of the country). Once lost it we will never be able to replace it!
parsa Jul 24, 2012 09:52am
The Kalash are such a unique part of us. ideally we should have already made efforts for the preservation ourselves. but lets put pressure on the government now, start a petition.
Zahid Khan Jul 24, 2012 12:51pm
Our govt. and the NGOs are so disorgainzed, they left tourism department , No one ever talk about the word tourism in Pakistan, which can bring so much welth into our country, that we don't need to beg in front of any country.
Abdus Salam Khan Jul 24, 2012 11:03am
Like K-2 these northern valleys occupy a special place in the minds of the people at large eversince the film "The Lost Horizon" introduced the pristine beauty and serenity of these valleys to them, bringing the term Shangri La to the fore, With all the negative press Pakistan is getting these days itnernationally, it is high time we project the beauty of Pakistan to the rest of the world.
masood Jul 24, 2012 12:19pm
Why are we such a destructive and disorganized nation who cannot preserve our own culture and just keep on begging.
zainab ulmulk Jul 24, 2012 08:59am
This suggestion must be taken very seriously. It is so surprising that UNESCO has not yet raised this issue. In Skardu little mosques have been declared as world heritage sites. Here a whole living people, with a rich heritage, are vanishing fast and nothing is being done about it. Declaring the Kalash valleys a world heritage site is the need of the hour and will be the fastest way to prevent the Kalasha people from being wiped out.
Syed Ahmed Jamal Jul 24, 2012 06:23pm
Yes. I agree with Abdus Salam Khan in that there should be a lot more tourism promotion.
Rafiq Aslam Jul 25, 2012 10:00am
I completely agree with Masood bhai. We are 1. Unorganized. 2.Lack education. 3.More dependency on External world. 4.No clear policy for the nation. 5.No motivation for the youth. Indeed, we have a rich heritage, but who will visit us when the government is so unstable and there is no security of life. :( we need to bring change.
msam Jul 24, 2012 10:00pm
if some one could only answer that!!!
g.a.shirazi Jul 24, 2012 11:49pm
I have been there. It is vanishing fast. Something needs to done as of Yesterday.
Afzal Chaudhry Jul 25, 2012 12:02am
Such a beautiful place should be kept at all cost especially the people...
Karachi Wala Jul 25, 2012 01:17am
Ok let's talk about tourism in Pakistan. First please tell me why a foriegner would want to visit Pakistan?
Ashok Kotha Jul 25, 2012 03:18am
So all these exposures prove that our ancestors were HINDUS
Ashok Kotha Jul 25, 2012 03:21am
Aryan civilization was the oldest
Amna Jul 25, 2012 05:23am
Pakistani government has murdered the beauty of Pakistan, i am ashamed of pakistani government thru out the history of pakistan.
shahnawaz memon Jul 25, 2012 05:32am
aslam alekum , Not only northern areas lost but also over country is going lost . no one come out on the road .