Cavers to share exploration of Pakistan's longest one-chamber cave at international moot

Published: February 18, 2014
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Hayatullah Khan heads the PCRCF at the Speleo in Hamdan, Iran.

Hayatullah Khan heads the PCRCF at the Speleo in Hamdan, Iran.

KARACHI: Emerging out of one of Pakistan’s longest caves, pride of performance-winner Hayatullah Khan will be leading the Pakistan Cave Research and Caving Federation (PCRCF) team at the inauguration of International Speleology and Caving Congress in Hamdan, Iran.

Earlier this year, Hayatullah along with Abubakar Durrani and Muhammad Usman Khilji, in collaboration with the Chiltan Adventurers Association, explored Pakistan’s longest 1,272-km single-chamber cave.

“We’ve discovered the longest one-chamber bat cave of Pakistan,” Hayatullah proudly told The Express Tribune. “We found it when we were at the Bolan coastline expedition. It was thrilling but also very exciting in terms of research.”

Hayatullah began the caving research in 1984, and later by 1990. It evolved into an adventure sport for cave enthusiasts in the country.

The Speleology and Caving Congress is a platform where PCRCF presented their findings at the Buali Sina University of Hamadan among participants from more than 48 countries including the US, Canada, France, Australia, China, the Netherlands and Italy.

After attending the congress, Hayatullah and his team will be exploring the caves in Iran.

“The Iranian Speleological Department at the university has arranged for an expedition. We’ll be exploring some exclusive caves that are generally not allowed to visit. But we are excited about this tour,” he said.

The team is expected to return to Pakistan on February 24.

Security a negative factor

According to Hayatullah, caving is a challenge in Pakistan, especially in Balochistan; therefore, the caving expeditions usually take on the terrain in the Pashtun belt which includes areas like Ziarat and Harnai. His caving club has 67 members so far, 30 of them women.

Hayatullah is the only caver registered with the Union of International Speleology to cover 330 kilometres of caves in his career.

“Caving is a very interesting sport. Many university-going students in Quetta are also interested in it. But the law-and-order situation in the country has affected it negatively. We used to have an annual exchange programme with British cavers. We had an agreement with Simon James Brook. Their cavers would visit our country and we would get the opportunity to explore the caves in Britain as well.”

However, Hayatullah said “the caving teams have stopped coming to Pakistan for over a decade now.”

He added, “There have been many accolades that I received from other countries; for surveying, mapping and photographing the caves in Pakistan but it is the general attitude of the people that has become a hindrance.”

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Reader Comments (14)

  • David Salmon
    Feb 18, 2014 - 9:47PM

    1,272 kilometres? This would double the length of the world’s longest cave. And it doesn’t even have a name??

    Recommend

  • Khan Gul
    Feb 18, 2014 - 10:08PM

    Probably tribune meant metres. 1,272 kilometre is probably the distance from mkarachi to peshawar

    Recommend

  • Sheeraz
    Feb 18, 2014 - 10:12PM

    @David Salmon:
    Just found out. Wait for the name man.

    Recommend

  • Harris
    Feb 18, 2014 - 11:07PM

    @Khan Gul, Brother caves are not straight lines, therefore their measurement techniques are different, as they also do have long chained out branches from the main cave. So might even be 1,272 Kilometers

    Cheers!Recommend

  • Ahmed Rajput
    Feb 18, 2014 - 11:25PM

    1,272-km single-chamber cave ?? Are you serious. It must be meters not Kilometers. Please check your facts before posting such newsRecommend

  • Ahmad Khan Luni
    Feb 18, 2014 - 11:50PM

    And where exactly is this longest cave?

    Recommend

  • Feb 19, 2014 - 12:08AM

    @Ahmad Khan Luni:
    Mammoth Cave, 651.8 km in near Brownsville, Kentucky, United States.

    Recommend

  • Feb 19, 2014 - 12:25AM

    @Ahmad Khan Luni:
    Mammoth Cave, 651.8 km in near Brownsville, Kentucky, United States.Recommend

  • SM Usama
    Feb 19, 2014 - 2:38AM

    @Tribune “Waah teri Zahant … …”

    Name of the cave is “Pir Ghaib Gharr Gharra” in Balochistan and its length is 1,275 M
    Source: http://www.pcra.20m.com/ (Pakistan Cave Research & Caving Federation)

    Which is actually only 1,275 meters or 1.275 kilo meters
    Source: http://www-sop.inria.fr/agos/sis/DB/countries.html (Caves of the World)

    No Pakistani cave is in the world’s longest or deepest list
    http://www.caverbob.com/wlong.htm
    http://www.caverbob.com/wdeep.htm

    Recommend

  • SM Usama
    Feb 19, 2014 - 2:40AM

    @Tribune “Waah teri Zahant …”

    Name of the cave is “Pir Ghaib Gharr Gharra” in Balochistan and its length is 1,275 M
    Source: http://www.pcra.20m.com/ (Pakistan Cave Research & Caving Federation)

    Which is actually only 1,275 meters or 1.275 kilo meters
    Source: http://www-sop.inria.fr/agos/sis/DB/countries.html (Caves of the World)

    No Pakistani cave is in the world’s longest or deepest list
    http://www.caverbob.com/wlong.htm
    http://www.caverbob.com/wdeep.htm

    Recommend

  • sall90
    Feb 19, 2014 - 8:40AM

    Just be careful dear explorers..those insane taliban rats might be living there.

    Recommend

  • Waqas Murtaza
    Feb 19, 2014 - 1:20PM

    1275 KM Under-Ground Subway Train OMG Just Imagine, Shahbaz Sharif should’ve think about it….Seriously!!!

    Recommend

  • khan
    Feb 20, 2014 - 11:48PM

    ET the english word for cave explorers is Spelunker

    Spelunker:a person who explores and studies caves as a hobby
    Latin spelunca cave, from Greek spēlynx; akin to Greek spēlaion caveRecommend

  • Kamath
    Feb 21, 2014 - 9:51PM

    @Jahangir Chauhan:

    I have been there.

    You are right about the Mammoth caves in Kentucky. They are simply awesome to visit and extremely well preserved under the watchful eyes of US Park services. If something is not done along that line, the natural wonders of nature can get destroyed by vandalism and uncontrolled habitat etc. then people have lost something so beautiful.

    From CanadaRecommend

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