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Attock Khurd (a small Punjab village bordering Khyber-Pakhtunkhwa (old NWFP))
Out in the forest
Text and photographs by Tanveerul Islam
There are many places in the rural hinterland in Pakistan that are unexplored and are so rich in flora and fauna and archaeological sites that they open a new world to us with all its intricacies. Attock Khurd, a small Punjab village bordering Khyber-Pakhtunkhwa (old NWFP) is one such place.
Behind the residential areas of the village lie Kala Chitta mountains and an acacia forest which tells many tales of a bygone era. The timber mafia operates here. Due to the unavailability of basic life amenities, the local people also depend on their surroundings for sustenance.
There is a shrine located half-an-hour from the village on foot. Surrounded by a thick forest is a grave of a saint who, according to the local people grants cure to the sick. The suffering visit the place and make a vow after fixing small pointed rocks into the ground.
Apart from the shrine there are many interesting places nearby that can be visited. While moving through a ravine and taking few turns, local guides escort visitors to the popular spots. There are many hills surrounding the area which contain bushes that have honeycombs.
There is an ancient structure which is still intact and magnificent but no one knows its origin or what it is. Apparently, it looks like a water storage system. Visitors can’t resist admiring the structure in the wilderness. Behind this building is another small house in dilapidated condition. Built along the mountain stream, they are considered a romantic place.
On hilltops Afghan refugee children can be seen playing with baby goats. Living in a tent village nearby they belong to a tribe called Bakarwals (goat rearing people).
This area is uncharted land which contains some archaeological wonders. There is a need to explore and promote them as tourist sites.