Karachi has been included in the list of World Monument Watch List for 2018. The city’s built heritage, which is called Historic Karachi, was included in the list of 25 sites that were announced by the World Monument Fund (WMF), a non-profit organization that announces the list of heritage sites every year.
Professor Noman Ahmed, Chairman of NED University’s Department of Architecture and Planning, said that the credit for this achievement goes to the department’s heritage cell that has been working on historical sites for years. According to Noman Ahmed, the nomination in the list will help in preserving the historical sites of the metropolitan city.
Noman Ahmed said that preserving historical sites is not easy as one needs to have special architectural skills to bring modern development in line with the interest of the people. He further said that Pakistan should take note from other countries to learn their ways of preserving their heritage and implement the same strategy here.
He said that the main problem was that people don’t think that heritage can be preserved. Thus, awareness needs to be created so that people understand that heritage can be preserved. Currently, Mohatta Palace in Karachi serves as the prime example of heritage perservation. Preserving these sites will help citizens and tourists alike to explore and better understand their history.
World Monument Fund (WMF) on its website wrote about Historic Karachi, “This massive growth imperils the preservation of Karachi’s historic fabric, depriving its citizens of a unique cultural legacy that is visible from the imposing former offices of foreign and local businesses, to the grand residences of merchants, industrialists, and army officers, and to the landscaped open spaces that surround them.”
Recently, Institutes of Architects of Pakistan (IAP) held a conference on Preserving Karachi’s Heritage in which architects and members of the civil society participated. IAP Chairman said that the situation of the heritage sites are in worst conditions but there are chances of recovery.