Fading culture and history


Tauqeer Ahmad

Generally, the historical heritage is considered as useless remains of ancient world; and culture as an orthodox, conservative and non-progressive way of living of ethnocentric populace of the country. However, the cultural heritage, in broader sense, mean customs, beliefs, knowledge and life style that moulds the surrounding of a community and depicts a unique eccentric identity. It is said that those who fail to learn from history are doomed to repeat the mistakes. History helps the human beings to draw the materials for future wisdom from the past errors and infirmities of mankind. The secret behind the sustainability of many nations is laid in the assumption of historical importance and study of historical heritage and their ancestors’ lifestyles. They have given importance to the past and sought wisdom from their culture, values and history. Likewise, Pakistan has long history of diversified civilizations, dynasties and ages, which have left long lasting impressions on the inhabitants of this region. However, most of the social constituents of ancient societies have faded away or losing their values as the people are more adoptive to modernization. There was a time when our historical sites attracted people from all over the world. The tourism industries mostly relied on these sites and generated prominent part of GDP. These sites narrate an ordeal of clashes, rules, defeats and victories spread over centuries. Their remains tell us how great nations entrenched their supremacy over natural and social challenges in this region, how they flourished and what caused their ultimate doom and demolition. They have left behind the secret of survival in the region and techniques to rein in the challenges. But unfortunately we have not only failed to learn meaningful lesson but have put behind their relics and remains. It seems as we have lost interest in both material and intellectual aspects of our ancestors’ lives and are blindly chasing the footsteps of some rapidly advancing countries. Terrorism has also inflicted prodigious loss to cultural tourism in Pakistan and it will take a long time to repose the trust of foreigners on guarantee of peace and security through meaningful steps by the government. There is a great need of serious measures for promotion and protection of ancient sites and cultural heritage to attract foreign as well as local visitors.
— Peshawar