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Mine owner asked to stop excavation at Buddhist site

The News (Pakistan), Nov 20, 2007

MARDAN, Pakistan -- The residents of Babozai village forced the owner of a mine at Kashmir Smast to stop blasting in the mountains, as it was not only their property but also destroying an historical Bhuddist site.

It may be added that Kashmir Smust (cave) is a rare Bhuddist site situated in the tough terrain of Babozai area that was discovered in 1862 and extremely rare antiquities including statues, coins and pottery were recovered during excavation.

Local smugglers excavated it illegally and recovered antiquities. Habibullah Khan while getting mines on lease just near the site constructed a road and made it accessible and started blasting that destroyed the mountains and settlement.

An elder of Babozai namely Inayat Khan Babozai told this correspondent that locals had inked an agreement with Habibullah Khan about the mines but now it was learnt that it was a great threat to the site.

He said the landowners would not let anyone to destroy the site therefore, some 300 people asked the leaseholder to stop the blasting. He demanded of the government to take the site into its custody and make proper planning to excavate and save it from smugglers.
It may be added that Kashmir Smust (cave) is a rare Bhuddist site situated in the tough terrain of Babozai area that was discovered in 1862 and extremely rare antiquities including statues, coins and pottery were recovered during excavation.

Local smugglers excavated it illegally and recovered antiquities. Habibullah Khan while getting mines on lease just near the site constructed a road and made it accessible and started blasting that destroyed the mountains and settlement.

An elder of Babozai namely Inayat Khan Babozai told this correspondent that locals had inked an agreement with Habibullah Khan about the mines but now it was learnt that it was a great threat to the site.

He said the landowners would not let anyone to destroy the site therefore, some 300 people asked the leaseholder to stop the blasting. He demanded of the government to take the site into its custody and make proper planning to excavate and save it from smugglers.


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