MULTAN: A proposal was sent to the Punjab Archaeology Department for conservation and restoration of the Nawab Muzaffar Khan Saddozai Palace, still standing tall but decaying inside the historical fortification wall of Shujabad.
Under the proposed plan, the missing wooden roof of the palace would be restored, underpinning of decaying walls with original size bricks, application of kankar lime/glazed lime plaster, restoration of fresco and brick imitation work, wooden door and windows, wooden shed (chajja), brick flooring, boundary wall, plinth protection, electrification, development of surrounding area, and a history indication board.
The cost of the project has been assessed at around Rs25 million and it would be completed within two years, provided it is finally approved by the provincial government.
The Shujabad fortification wall was built by Nawab Muzaffar Khan’s father Nawab Shuja Khan and it was conserved and restored by the Punjab Archaeology Department eight years ago. However, around 80 per cent of the work was completed but some of the portions were left unattended mainly due to encroachments.
A noted expert and historian, Ahmad Nabi Khan, has discovered ‘Zubdat al-Akhbar’, a treatise on the Saddozai rulers of Multan written in Persian by Munshi Sher Muhammad Nadir, an official of Nawab Sarfraz Khan’s era.
The manuscript, now in the collection of the Research Society of Pakistan, is a copy prepared after 1870 from the original text written in 1832. Its authenticity and relevance though are unquestioned, the report says.
Khan traced the lineage of the Saddozais over a span of 250 years from their feudal service to the Safavid kings of Persia for whom they guarded the highways running from Herat to Kandahar, through 1652 when the first Saddozai, Shah Hussain, migrated to Multan and was received in the state by Prince (later emperor) Aurangzeb.
The archaeology officials say they studied the monument before proposing its inclusion in the ADP 2018-19.