Walled City monument site being sealed?

Talking to Daily Times, Iqbal Bhutta said that his visit to the locality was official and he would send a report to senior officials. Asked if he would favour the residents of the locality, he said the department had several options, one of which was preserving the building. He said he would not do anything illegal.

Sheikh Yousaf planned to build a plaza on the ‘Bangla Ayub Shah’ site inside Sheranwala Gate, where the monument was found when workers were digging to make a basement for the intended building. Yousaf had to pay a fine for violating building laws, which require permission before digging a basement inside the Walled City.

The Archaeology Department has disallowed digging or construction in the area without permission and owners of residential plots need the department’s permission to commercialise their land.

Concerned residents complained against building plazas in the Walled City ‘at the cost of the national heritage’ and said that t commercial site owners did not get a No Objection Certificate from the Archaeology Department.

The discovery triggered a debate over the monument’s importance. An Archaeology Department report said that the mehrabs, Paka Kali plaster and paintings hung 10 feet above the floor suggested the building was from the Mogul or Sikh era.

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