South Asian Cities Conference in Karachi
“However, urban reconstruction in historical contexts is difficult,” Arshad grimly said. And no one has patience, she added. A lot more needs to be done and the reconstruction needs to be sustained
This problem is reflected in Fauzia Qureshi’s presentation of a similar project in the Walled City of Multan.
Qureshi, also an architect and the former principal of the National College of Arts, Lahore, who had some success stories of reconstruction the major monuments of the inner city of Multan. Her consultancy provided surveys, data and restoration plans of the tombs of Shah Rukn-e-Alam, his mother, Shah Sabzwari, the Eid Gah Mosque, and other temples, shrines, mausoleums and dharamshalas. Many of them were reconstructed and restored.
However, some plans of the reconstructions did not last. The Damdama is a part of the Multan Fort wall and occupies north-western corner of it. It is the highest point of the fort, and Qureshi showed a picture with a Union Jack hoisted on it – after the British defeated the Sikhs in the mid-nineteenth century.
Despite, Qureshi’s team telling the government that the Damdama only had a few leakages and cracks that “needed to be stitched up”, the government decided to take it down and build a restaurant instead.
She also narrated how she was successful in removing Gol Market that had encroached on public just outside the Multan Fort. The government was asked to build a green roundabout and other green belts going towards the fort. “But, two years after the area was cleared, a mosque was built on the roundabout itself.” Some markets also returned, she sighed.