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Mohatta Palace

January 23, 2013

I AM a resident of the residential area of Old Clifton, Karachi, in the neighbourhood of the Mohatta Palace Museum. I was glad when Mohatta Palace was restored and converted into a museum as this was to serve as a place for history, knowledge and art.

However, instead it has now become a nightmare as the Mohatta Palace management has started allowing late-night musical evenings, concerts, fashion shows and even private marriages and parties in its lawns.

Almost every month there is loud music coming out of the place which makes it impossible for the residents to have a good night’s sleep but such open-air parties attract unwanted elements from nearby katchi abadis. There have been instances of drunken people shouting on the streets and parking outside on the roads, creating blockages.

We, the residents, have sent several written complaints to the official in charge of Mohatta Palace, requesting that this place was the resident of our beloved Madar-i-Millat Fatimah Jinnah and, therefore, sanctity of the place should be preserved.

As a person affected directly by the situation referred to above and as a rightful taxpaying peace-loving citizen, I once again request the authorities concerned to take serious notice of my complaint and put an immediate and complete ban on holding any evening functions or concerts and late-night parties at Mohatta Palace to preserve this great monument as a national treasure and not make it a cheap ‘Shaadi hall’.

FAHAD AHMED Old Clifton Road                  Karachi

Museum official’s view

The Mohatta Palace Museum is a public institution, and citizens of Pakistan have the right to visit the museum and express their views. However, vague accusations cannot be effectively addressed.

In order to raise funds for the maintenance of the Museum we allow corporate events to be held in the Museum gardens, but we do not entertain individuals.

Each request is vetted and approved as per the Museum’s policy. While fund raisers and award ceremonies have been held, these have strict instructions that noise levels be controlled and all events should end by midnight.

The Museum forbids the serving of alcohol and no wedding ceremony as such has been held yet in the grounds.

If Mr Fahad thinks weddings have been held here, we await evidence to this effect. If Mr Fahad had a genuine complaint, he could have easily lodged it in person or contacted the Curator, Trustees or the Managing Trustee of the Museum at any time.

The next event scheduled at Mohatta is a fund-raising event for Patients’ Aid Foundation based at the JPMC which is a dinner followed by music recital by

Shafqat Amanat Ali on Feb 9 from 8 pm to 12 midnight.

Mr Fahad is more than welcome to contact us and participate in the programme to set his phantoms at rest. Mohatta Palace Museum respects the privacy of its neighbours and is an institution that continually strives to promote our cultural heritage with grace and dignity.

NASREEN ASKARI Director Mohatta Palace Museum Karachi