KP faces losing historical heritage worth billions

historical heritage

Faqeer Hussain

PESHAWAR: After the approval of the Gandhara Culture Act 2023 by the National Assembly, the Khyber Pakhtunkhwa government will hand over ownership of 60,000 historical artifacts, 20,000 Gandhara culture sites, and 15 provincial wonders to the proposed “Gandhara Culture Authority”, which will be established by the federal government.

As a result of this development, the Khyber Pakhtunkhwa government stands to be deprived of this significant historical heritage.

According to the authorities in the KP Department of Tourism and Archaeology, they have serious reservations about the approval of the Act in the National Assembly as it goes against the 18th Amendment.

In this regard, they said, the provincial law department has been directed to take up the matter with the federal government.

KP Director of Archaeology and Museums Dr Abdul Samad stated that the approval of the Gandhara Culture Authority Act by the National Assembly was a violation of the constitution because all these ancient artifacts were handed over to the provincial government after the 18th Amendment.

According to him, during the past 10 years, the provincial government has spent billions of rupees on the preservation and protection of these historical treasures.

He further said that they would raise their voice against this Act at every platform.

KP’s investment on preservation of historical artifacts and ancient sites

According to the provincial government officials, during the last three years, more than Rs800 million were spent through the World Bank’s K-P Integrated Tourism Project for the preservation of the historical artifacts and ancient sites.

On the other hand, the Awami National Party has also rejected the Gandhara Culture Authority Act and labeled it an attack on provincial autonomy.

The party made it clear that depriving KP of its rights through this legislation was unacceptable.

NA law passed

The National Assembly passed the Gandhara Culture Authority Act 2023 on August 2, and under this Act, the federal government will establish the Gandhara Culture Authority, which will have control over the administration and financial matters of Gandhara artifacts and ancient sites.

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