To this end, he is going to hold an international conference and announce fundraising for new excavations and restorative work. The initiative is commendable, but there is one “but” – and that is the ambiguous reputation of the Bhutto – Zardari family . For many the question is: where will the money collected by the representative of one of the most influential families of Pakistan, which is also one of the most frequently accused of being involved in corruption, go? Commenting on the report, the expert of the Russian Institute of Strategic Studies, Boris Volkhonsky says:
“The deplorable state of Mohenjo-Daro was reported by the “Telegraph” two weeks earlier. This ancient city, built more than 4.5 thousand years ago, the only metropolis in the world belonging to the Bronze Age, is under threat of destruction due to the adverse effects of natural factors.”
The situation could be saved by converting Mohenjo-Daro into a tourist site, but it is located in an area in the province of Sindh where tourists are afraid to go because of the threat of terrorist attacks, – says Boris Volkhonsky. – And besides, the local authorities do not seem too interested in the development of tourism – at least so far no effective steps have been taken in this direction. And the local people are more concerned with the problems of rice cultivation in the valley of the Indus. They use techniques that are very harmful to the environment and have a further negative impact on the mud-brick walls of the buildings of the ancient city .
And now the Bhutto family scion and a rising star of the Pakistan Peoples party Bilawal Bhutto Zardari announced that he is ready to start an International Campaign to raise funds for the restoration and protection of Mohenjo-Daro. For the Bhutto family Mohenjo-Daro is particularly valuable: it is in the area of the ancient city that land holdings of the most influential political clan in Pakistan are located.
Of course, in itself the intention to save Mohenjo-Daro must be welcomed – especially if you remember what was done to the monuments of the pre-Islamic culture by the Taliban in neighboring Afghanistan. And Mohenjo-Daro is more ancient than not only Islam, but also Christianity, and even the Aryan civilization, reminds Boris Volkhonsky :
“But there is something that does not allow us to unreservedly applaud this intention. The reputation of the Bhutto-Zardari family is too ambiguous. Both the mother and father of Bilawal – former Prime Minister Benazir Bhutto and former President Asif Ali Zardari – both were accused at different times of various corruption offences and allegations against Asif Ali Zardari have still not been completely withdrawn. Of course, Bilawal has not been involved in any such activities. But the situation is very much like the plot of some picaresque novel, when the hero invents a kind of noble purpose in order to fool the gullible townsfolk and collect money from them.”
To the Russian reader, this situation is reminiscent of the well-known novel “The Twelve Chairs” where the adventurous Bender raises money ostensibly “to help the starving children”, robbing a group of a dozen provincial rich in the process. Here we are talking about a campaign on world scale.