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History looks back from the window of bygone ages and we come into eye to eye contact with the past through the remnants of the ages passed centuries ago. These leftovers are the meeting points of centuries in other words. Memories of the past are milestones of the coming seasons that mean past and future tense flow in the same stream. Therefore keeping the bits and bobs of history alive is of primary importance so that the historian of the coming centuries may be able to keep the continuum of departed seasons.

phoolra fortFort Abbas is a divisional sub-unit of district Bahawalnagar situated on the eastern frontiers of Pakistan. Named after Abbasids, it is rich with architectural heritage of the Abbasids and their footprints are alive even today in the form of the Fort and other buildings that are being drained away partly due to the negligence of the Archaeological Department of Pakistan and partly because of cruel practices of the local people who are stealing it away in every possible manner. Bricks have been uprooted from the walls, rostrum of the Nawabs and other parts of the Fort. Fortified belongings of the Fort are lying on the passage in the feet of every being. History is being stolen away and we are waiting for the moment when it is removed from the pages of history.

IMG_0319Boundary wall of the great Fort has been replaced either by the passages of humans, goats, camels, and other shepherds or by the mud and brick houses built by the local community. Torrential rains, though scanty in the area, are consistently draining the mud of the Fort and wind of time is sweeping the history away at a fast pace. Natives can be excused on being illiterate in general and unaware of the importance of historic and cultural legacy in particular but the Archaeological Department of Pakistan cannot be. 14 KM away from eastern border, Fort had been securing the land as third defence line and attains a strategic magnitude from the angles of defence. Ignoring it can imply more than negligence. Nations that fail to save their inheritance are doomed to suffer in the futures.

IMG_0339The only remnant that is seen in alive and better form is the mosque of the Fort that is, undoubtedly, inhabited and repaired by the locals who have enlivened it due to their religious association. If the tomb of the mosque can be kept alive by the natives, why can the whole of the Fort not saved by the Archaeological Department of Pakistan? Layers of time are hiding the remains of the fort. Feet of goats, sheep, and camels are toppling the history down. Are we deliberately allowing our history to be brushed off? Civilization is calling you Archaeological Department of Pakistan! Listen to the feeble voice of Fort before it is too late and the tourist of the coming time returns off hand.

Article by : Saima Qureshi