In Pakistan, political and executive authorities rarely give any importance to the country’s heritage. Even when the government decides to take corrective measures, her efforts of restoring or preserving go awkward. The recent addition to government’s attempts to beautify Empress Market is anything but beatification of the building if the experts are to be believed.

First, the clean-up operation of the market created controversy. Now the beautification plan and restoration of the market to its past glory has infuriated the experts. The swiftness that authorities have shown to the court order has done nothing right. The actions of the local authorities are nothing but confirming the saying that haste makes waste. The negligence that the authorities have committed while restoring the grandeur of the colonial era construct depicts the sheer incompetence of the authorities.

Indeed the lack of input from historians and heritage consultants is vandalism, to say the least. Given that the authorities have resorted to haste to fulfil the court orders, fears are high that the beautification plan will snatch away all the beauty and grandeur of the historical site. The sheer carelessness that the responsible ones have shown tells us that the authorities are yet to learn the lessons from the damages done by the Orange Line Project to Chauburji and other historical sites.

The opinion of Marvi Mazhar, an architect and heritage consultant by profession, that the using chemicals on stones damage them tells us the ineptness of those who have undertaken such a delicate task.

It is not all gone even at this moment. The experts are still hopeful that the government can take corrective measures to preserve the historic fabric. It is best to stop the ongoing beautification plan immediately. If the state wants not to let one another historical sight to perish away because of the proper planning, it needs to give a thought to the recommendations of the experts for preserving the historic building.

The provincial government needs to realise the fact that preserving historical sites is a very delicate task. Restoration and beautification plans need experts’ oversights. What is frustrating is the fact that this is not the first intervention attempt that the local administration has made. The previous interventions had already caused significant damage to the stone of Empress Market.

As the government officials want to establish restaurants and art galleries is nothing but a revisionist attempt. The innovations that the government intends to make against the idea of Bazar confirm the wise words that those who cannot create, destroy.