Quaid-e-Azam House Museum Under Threat Due To Illegal Construction Activities
KARACHI, (UrduPoint / Pakistan Point News - 21st Sep, 2021 ) :Quaid-e-Azam House Museum, a national heritage site came under threat of alteration and defacing as a construction project has allegedly been planned on the site in violation of Sindh Cultural Heritage (Preservation) Act.
According to details, Sindh government entered into an agreement with Jinnah Society and Karachi Council on Foreign Relations in February 2021 to transform Quaid-e-Azam House into Nation Building Institute and establish a management board with Chief Minister Sindh as its ex-officio chairman. The board was later notified in April 2021.
As per memorandum of understanding a public library named "Jinnah Library" was to be established at the house but instead of setting up the library there the existing library was turned into office of the board.
Meanwhile a soil testing machine has also been brought at the site for excavation to carry out drilling within the premises of the national heritage site which might inflict serious damages to the site of historical importance.
Sindh Cultural Heritage (Preservation) Act, 1994 restricted even owner's right to destroy, remove, alter or deface the protected heritage.
The Quaid-e-Azam House- also called Flag Staff House- was constructed in 1868 and Muhammad Ali Jinnah bought it from former mayor of Karachi Sohrab Caosjee in 1943. In 1948 Mohtarma Fatima Jinnah shifted to the house and lived there for 18 years.
Later on, the house was under administration of Quaid-e-Azam Trust that announced to auction the house in 1984 but on directives of Sindh High Court government acquired the house and declared it as a cultural heritage site in 1985.
After necessary repair and maintenance different belongings of Quaid-e-Azam and Fatima Jinnah were shifted from Mohatta Palace to the house and named as Quaid-e-Azam House Museum. After 18th constitutional amendment the museum was handed over to Sindh government.
The General Secretary Nation Building Institute Commodore (r ) Sadeed Anwer Malik informed that Nation Building Institute was working with objectives of setting up an audio-visual centre which will display documentaries and films on Quaid-e-Azam and other heroes of freedom movement.
Though Mr. Malik insisted that no alteration would be made in the premises he also informed that an underground parking would be constructed at the premises without disturbing the existing structure.
The Leader of the Opposition in Sindh Assembly Haleem Adil Sheikh, after receiving information about contravention of heritage act and apprehensions of potential damages to the cultural site visited the museum and inspected various sections of the house.
Speaking at the occasion Haleem Adil Sheikh termed it a conspiracy of usurping the invaluable land by land grabbing mafia supported by PPP leadership and said that library of the museum was turned into office while a soil testing machine was also present in the premises of the house.
Haleem Adil Sheikh alleged that PPP Sindh government has devastated Moen jo Daro, Makli, Bhanbhor, and other cultural and archeological sites of the province and now they have turned towards the national heritage site.
Quaid-e-Azam Muhammad Ali Jinnah is founding father of the nation and it was our duty to preserve his belongings and relics, he said and vowed that PTI would protect the national heritage and would not let the mafias to fulfill their nefarious designs.
Haleem Adil Sheikh appealed Chief of the Army Staff to take notice of the situation and initiate an inquiry to ascertain the facts.