The double bench of Sindh High Court in Hyderabad, comprising Justice Salahuddin Panhwar and Justice Mr Amjad Ali Sahito ordered on Friday directed chief secretary Sindh to form a committee of the experts under the chairmanship of secretary culture and tourism of Sindh government to conduct the study of Karoonjhar hills to so that site may b hereditary site according to two existing acts as per pleas of the petitioners.
The urgent petition was filed by three Thari activists including Alllah Rakhio Khoso, Teerath Jhangi and Advocate Fakeer Munwar Sagir through their lawyer Advocate Ghulam Mustafa Hingorjo. Advocate Hingorjo argued that respondents were involved in illegal extraction of precious granite stones from points of Karoonjhar hills, and excavating and removing valuable minerals. He said the respondent officers were not taking actions against such illegal activities despite the orders passed by the double bench in the same court in November 2019 on his petition.
The petitioners in their applications requested the Honorable Court to order the complete ban on the ongoing extraction of the granite stones from various points of Karoonjhar hills and the stern actions against those, who were violating the previous court orders without any let or check by the concerned officials. ” At the juncture the petitioners contend that Karoonjhar mountain located in Nagarparkar taluka of Tharparkar district which are about 100/110 feet high and spreading over 30 kilometres , are not only cultural traditional, religious as well as are unique in features and shape but also have an ancient history in the desert district” said an order and added that since the province of Sindh and Federation have not undertaken any study of this historical sites and even geological department has failed to examine these mountains. “
It is contented that these mountains with very different clay and minerals can be declared as natural heritage, even UNESCO can be invited to examine such mountains through their experts, the order said. ” We would take no exception to the point that every single heritage needs to be preserved because it reflects our past Karoonjhar Mountain, by now emerging as one of the places, having its unique beauty and history which attract the people from all corners, particularly in rainy days. Nagarparkar, which such mountains are located, also has a number of religious places which have their own histories.
The holy sites are of the unique touch of an art and themselves are representatives of the past people, who lived there. The order adds that a researcher Mashkoor Fulkaro in his book ‘Sarswati Tahzeeb ain Achhro Thar’ writes that there are 109 hills which comprise the Karoonjhar range with at least 108 holy sites. ” Such a reference in our view , is sufficient for taking into account such places as ‘cultural and natural heritage’ . Life is never complete without culture and heritage because it is noes’ identity. ” The excavation /extraction of the granite is also a known fact which needs to be examined by quarter concerned because if the extraction is at the cost of the heritage,then the same needs to be stopped if not even the same needs to be mechanized so as to ensure the maximum benefits to the government.
Both aspects are sufficient to convince that at all the material sites, the quarter concerned in particular and culture and tourism department are required to take notice of such a place. Accordingly, the chief secretary Sindh is hereby directed to constitute a committee within seven days comprising the secretary of culture and tourism department as its chairman and the experts of geological and heritage fields in mountains, its clay and history and shall study these mountains with regard to their unique features culture age, as well as history and if the same are falling within the category of the heritage then shall be declared as heritage and ancient properties under The Ancient Mountains Preservation Act 1904 and Sindh Cultural Heritage (Preservation) Act 1994. ‘This exercise shall be completed within six months however an interim report shall be submitted on a monthly basis.
The order said, it is expected that Sindh government will consider the place enlistment thereof in World Heritage Sites by inviting the experts of UNESCO and shall ensure the sanctity of these heritage sites as claimed by the petitioners “ Since facts of the petition shows hearing of the petition as public interest litigation and it will be conducive to appoint Advocate Sajjad Ahmed Chandio and Mr Ishrat Ali Lohar to act as Amici Curiae ( the friends of the Court)” the order added. The double bench also issued notices to AAG Sindh and other respondents to appear in the court on the next hearing and the bench also ordered to provide the copy of the Order along with with the memo of petition to both parties.