Wednesday Mar 20, 2019
It took 40 years for the Balochistan government to successfully retrieve historical artefacts from a dusty storeroom in the National Museum, Karachi.
The sculptures, over 6,000-years-old, include a male, female and animal figurine, pottery, and several coins, stone tools and beads.
Zafar Buledi, the secretary of culture and tourism in Balochistan, termed the repossession “a landmark achievement” for the provincial government. “There are 20,675 artefacts which have been discovered from different archaeological sites in Balochistan,” he told Geo.tv, “Some of which are lying in the museum in Karachi.”
Majority of the relics were uncovered from Mehrgarh, 140 kilometres southeast of Quetta.
Interestingly, the male figurines have turbans, much like those worn by the inhabitants of Balochistan today. The figurines also reveal the attire of the women who lived on the lands now part of the province. The female sculptures are dressed in lace-like material around their waist and draped in necklaces.
Buledi added that the antiquities, which have been retrieved from the Sindh government, would be placed in a museum at Quetta for the general public to see. The secretary tourism was optimistic that this will generate millions of rupees in revenue as tourists will flock to the site.
Separately, the Balochistan government has approached the ministry of foreign affairs for the retrieval of over 300 treasures of archaeology, which were seized while being smuggled to Italy in 2014. The Italian government then handed them over to Pakistan’s embassy in Rome, where they now remain.
Similarly, some 900 artefacts from Balochistan are in the possession of state officials in Germany. German authorities have been waiting on an official letter from Pakistan to start the processes of sending them back home.