The Sindh Cultural Department stopped the Heritage Foundation from working at Makli, on the false charge that it had damaged the dome of Sultan Ibrahim’s tomb.
At the back was the lady advisor/minister of culture, heritage, etc. who called the two Hameeds her uncles, and was once arrested with her father and mother for syphoning off billions from the steel mill. Her photograph sitting on the floor of the prison with her mother was on Internet for the whole world to see.
Therefore Faryal asked me to get in touch with her real uncle, Salman Farooqi who was with me at college. He had taken the civil service exam and had got into customs and excise but rose to become an important member of every government, first in the province, and later in the centre. He ended up becoming Secretary-General to the President with the status of federal minister, and received the highest award the Government of Pakistan could bestow, i.e. Nishan-i-Imtiaz. Many hated him for that, but once in power they relied on him to do the job. For example when Muhammad Khan Junejo became prime minister he was determined to keep Salman Farooqi out. Prime minister Junejo convened a conference in Islamabad to work out plans to provide housing to the poor, in which my wife put forward the concept of a land bank for the poor. This was liked by Junejo who asked her to work out the details for him. Salman Farooqi, who was there, knew that she was not going to do anything about it, as she was used to politicians asking her to prepare plans and reports which were never implemented. Therefore he arrived next week at our house in Karachi, and said that he would not leave till my wife had worked out the whole concept for him, which she did. Whereupon he took it and presented it to the prime minister and thus mended his relationship with him; but as we expected, the plan for a land bank for the poor never materialized. This did not bother Salman Farooqi whose next target was President General Zia. who had a handicapped daughter, and my brother’s wife was a professor at a British University where she specialised in handicapped children therefore he got her to do a report so that he could present it to the President Zia to get into his good books.
Because of Faryal, I wrote a letter to Salman Farooqui about the state of heritage in Sindh but knowing him I never got in touch with him, and as expected when Feryal asked him about it, he said that he never received any letter from me, although I had sent letters both to his office and to his residential address.
I also wrote to PPP senator for whom we had done two Khairpur villages who was daughter of the then chief minister but there was no response.
However, UNESCO in Paris, ICCROM in Rome and the US Government stood by Mrs Yasmeen Lari and the Heritage Foundation.
The U.S. Government, which funded the project, had appointed their own expert who came from Washington to inspect the tomb regularly, and said that out of 25 heritage sites funded by the US Government all round the world which she monitors, the Makli work done by the Heritage Foundation was the best. She wrote, ‘I continue to report publically and whenever there is an opportunity that work of Heritage Foundation at Sultan Ibrahim must serve as the example of how well preservation of built heritage can be carried out in Sindh and all of Pakistan.’
UNESCO, which is the protector of World Heritage Sites, visited Makli, inspected the tomb of Sultan Ibrahim, found no damage, and asked the Heritage Foundation to work on the revival of kashi tiles, which have been pilfered regularly from Makli and other monuments under protection of the provincial and federal departments of culture and antiquities. The Heritage Foundation moved with UNESCO experts from Italy, to a nearby village where it built new structures, and kilns for Italian ceramic experts sent by UNESCO, a lady and a gentleman, to impart their knowledge to the artisans of Sindh. The workshop had to be conducted in heat and dust; while the air-conditioned rest house in Makli built to house such experts working there remained empty.
And Mr. Simon Warrack, expert from ICCROM in Rome, which monitors all the heritage work all over the world, visited the site to provide an independent assessment and found no damage to the dome as alleged by the pompous bloated fatty media mafia Hameed and his soulmate, and the Department of Culture.
The Sindh Department of Culture, after change of chief minister, and the cabinet, allowed the Heritage Foundation to complete its projects funded by the Americans and the Germans in World Heritage Site Makli, and the UNESCO project on the revival of Kashi before they visited the UNESCO Conference on Heritage.
It was a relief to the Heritage Foundation but what about Heritage.It is estimated that at least 500 buildings out of 1,500 notified heritage of Karachi alone are under threat - almost 300 buildings have been placed on ‘Dangerous Buildings List’ by Sindh Building Control Authority, while another 200 structures are being demolished surreptitiously.
The main reasons for loss of heritage arenon-availability of funds for maintenance and restoration from Sindh government which had gone to organisations like Endowment Funds Trust (created with government funds). And de-notification of notified heritage by Sindh Cultural Heritage Preservation Advisory Committee, which was created by Mrs Yasmeen Lari with the help of Benazir Bhutto and Abdullah Shah to notify and preserve and not denotify and destroy heritage of Sindh.