QUETTA: Thousands of centuries-old artefacts, including elegant and sophisticated pottery, seals and coins, have been brought back by the Balochistan government from Sindh, where they were kept for long in the National Museum Karachi.
This was said by provincial Secretary of Cultural and Tourism Zafar Ali Buledi.
He termed the recovery of the ancient artefacts a landmark achievement of the Balochistan government.
These ancient relics were recovered from different archaeological sites of Balochistan, including Mehergarh, Turbat and Lasbela. However, these artefacts were shifted to the National Museum Karachi because Balochistan has no museum to preserve and display the relics.
Mr Buledi said that learning about the presence of the relics in the National Museum Karachi, the culture and tourism department, on the directives of Chief Minister Jam Kamal Alyani and Minister for Culture and Tourism Abdul Kaliq Hazara, initiated efforts for bringing the artefacts to Quetta.
“We discussed the issue with the Sindh culture and antiquities minister and other authorities concerned and, after a few meeting, convinced them to return the artefacts to Balochistan,” Mr Buledi told Dawn.
He said that 20,675 artefacts were handed over to Balochistan by the Sindh authorities, which were 2,000 to 6,000 years old. These relics included figurines of male and female human beings and animals, elegant and sophisticated pottery, seals and coins, he added.
The secretary said that the Balochistan government had made a plan to establish a museum in Quetta where these relics would be displayed for the general public, which would help in promoting culture and tourism in Balochistan and generating revenue. Funds for the museum project had been allocated, he added.
No previous government had shown any interest in bringing back these assets of Balochistan despite having information, Mr Buledi said.
“We have also made a plan to establish an archaeology and anthropology department in the University of Balochistan,” he added.
The provincial government was giving importance to promotion of culture and tourism in Balochistan as the province had dozens of beautiful locations that could attract tourists, particularly the long coast of Makran, Mr Buledi said.
Published in Dawn, March 9th, 2019