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Pakistan's cultural festival threatens ancient ruins, say experts

Published on Jan 30, 2014 7:59 PM

KARACHI (AFP) - A festival to commemorate Pakistan's cultural heritage spearheaded by the scion of the Bhutto family could put the ruins of one of the world's ancient civilizations at risk, experts warned on Thursday.

Mr Bilawal Bhutto Zardari, the heir to slain former prime minister Benazir Bhutto, has launched a campaign to conserve the heritage of his home province of Sindh with a two-week festival due to begin on February 1.

Mr Zardari's Pakistan People's Party suffered a heavy defeat in the 2013 general election and observers say the event, which has seen weeks of national television spots, is partly aimed at raising the 25-year-old's political profile.

But experts told AFP that the festival's inaugural ceremony which is to be held on the ruins of the Moenjodaro settlement could endanger the UNESCO World Heritage site built around 2600 BCE.

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