KOHAT: People here have demanded preservation and renovation of the historical sites, some of them thousands of years old, which are gradually losing their grandeur due to corrosion, plunder by antiquity smugglers and neglect of the archaeology department.
Answering a query, Khyber Pakhtunkhwa archaeology department director Dr Abdul Samad, who hails from Kohat, told this correspondent that they could not hire watchmen to stop plundering of the sites unless a museum was constructed as a policy initiative.
He disclosed that due to this bottleneck the antiques of Kohat had been ignored at the Peshawar Museum. He said that they had their own limitations.
The sites being ignored for decades include the caves of the Aad-i-Samud dynasty – Raja Aad and Samud who ruled the region 5,000 years ago with their seat five kilometres in the northwest of Kohat in Mian Garhi – which are being robbed by smugglers of Buddha statues, finger rings, coins and old daily-use items. The cave with calcium spikes is also on the verge of destruction.
The Kohat springs flowing since time immemorial and visited by Guru Nanak and some warriors, the family graveyard of the father of Pakhtuns Ahmed Shah Abdali (Sadozai) known as Durrani Fort at a small hilltop and the 1930 Mir Kheli summer British Dak Bungalow also need attention of the government.
It is a matter of concern that an old mosque dating back to 1834 in Bahadar Kot had been demolished.
The people of Kohat have demanded that the lower abandoned portion of the 1905 Khushalgarh rail-and-road steel bridge should be developed for opening food outlets for the tourists to enjoy the mesmerising view of running of the train over the Indus River in the evening.
Zulfiqar Shah, a historian who penned down a book ‘Kohat in the Mirror of History’, says that by developing the beautiful historical places the district could earn a handsome amount of revenue from the tourism industry.
Published in Dawn, December 17th, 2021