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November 26, 2020

LHC to hear plea on preservation of 19th century ship today

Lahore

November 26, 2020

LAHORE:The Lahore High Court would hear on Thursday (today) a petition seeking a direction to the government functionaries for the preservation of “Indus Queen”, a ship got built during the 19th century by the then head of the erstwhile Bahawalpur State Nawab Sadiq Khan Abbasi.

Judicial Activism Panel’s Chairman Azhar Siddique filed the petition and submitted that the ship, also known as Sutlej Queen, also sailed in the Sutlej River and was host to many soirees hosted by the then nawab of Bahawalpur.

He said following the Partition and then subsequent upon signing of the Indus Water Treaty, the boat sailed less through the river and after the abolition of the Bahawalpur state, the nawab gifted it to the government of Pakistan.

The lawyer pointed out that the nawab of the Bahawalpur got the magnificent ship built in 1867, which was utilised by his family in Sutlej River and used to sail throughout the state and the then British-administered Multan.

He said the ship got built during the 19th century by the then head of the erstwhile Bahawalpur State Nawab Sadiq Khan Abbasi being parked in the Sutlej River was shifted to the “Ghazi Ghat Crossing” between Dera Ghazi Khan and Muzaffargarh during 1958 and the following year it was moved south further downstream to Mithankot to keep it safe from flood waters.

However, he said the floods of 2010 caused great damage to the ship. The petitioner pleaded that there was a need to preserve the heritage of our glorious past. He requested the court to direct the respondents to bring the Indus Queen back to Bahawalpur and after its full restoration and preservation being an antiquity and cultural heritage be converted into a tourist attraction.

The secretary of Cabinet Division, National History & Literary Heritage Division, the chief secretary of Punjab and director general of Archeology Department have been made respondents in the petition. Justice Shahid Karim would hear the petition.