Edhi seeks Rs 0.4m for storing ‘mummy’
By Hasan Mansoor
KARACHI: The Edhi Trust has sent another letter to the Archaeology Department in which it has demanded that the department pay Rs 400,000 to it for the preservation of the much-publicized “mummy” that even affected diplomatic relations between Pakistan and Iran before it proved to be fake.
Officials in the National Museum of Pakistan confirmed that they had received another letter from the Edhi Trust saying its mortuary had kept the corpse for about two years although that was against the set rules of the organisation. According to the procedures, the Edhi authorities bury a body after it is unclaimed for 90 days.
The corpse was kept in the Edhi cold storage located in Sohrab Goth in June 2001 after it was proven that the “mummy” the body of an unidentified women who died not more than 20 years ago.
A spokesman of the Edhi Trust said that the organization had sent at least four letters in two years to the Archaeology Department and were still waiting for a reply from them to decide whether the “mummy” should be preserved or buried in the Edhi graveyard. The mummy had hit headlines in September 2000 when it was recovered from a gang from Quetta and brought to Karachi by police. Initially, it was assumed to be the mummy of a princess of the Sasanid Dynasty of Iran and smuggled into Pakistan by thieves.
It spawned many controversies. The first was between Sindh and Balochistan over its ownership. Later, the Iranian authorities approached Pakistan and demanded that the mummy be returned to their country.
The authorities sent the mummy to the Pakistan Atomic Energy Commission for examination, which revealed that the body was of that a woman who had died two decades ago. The corpse was then handed over to the Edhi mortuary. A police official involved in the investigation of the case said the suspect under police custody still insisted that the mummy was real. “It could not be buried till the case is finally decided,” the official said.