KARACHI: The Sindh government is sending a request to Islamabad for asking India to return the famous statue of the Dancing Girl, which is in possession of the Indian authorities since 1946.

"We are writing to the federal government to help us repatriate our exiled heroine back to us from India," a member of the Sindh cabinet said.

The two most famous artefacts belonging to Moenjodaro, regarded as one of the world's most ancient planned cities, are the King Priest and the Dancing Girl.

Officials said the two relics had been transported by British archaeologist Sir Mortimer Wheeler to Delhi in 1946 to be put on exhibition and had remained there since then.

In 1947, after the partition of the subcontinent, Pakistani authorities asked New Delhi to return the two relics along with several others, including the Fasting Buddha. A Pakistani official had visited Delhi and succeeded in getting the King Priest and the Fasting Buddha. But the Indians refused to hand over the 10.8cm dark bronze Dancing Girl statuette.

A legend says the Indian authorities had refused to hand over both the Moenjodaro relics and asked the Pakistani authorities to choose from the King Priest and the Dancing Girl, and the Pakistanis chose the King Priest.–INP