Reconstruction has started at Shabqadar Fort which was damaged by the October 26 earthquake on Friday.
Frontier Constabulary District Officer Abdul Nawaz Khattak told The Express Tribune the 178-year-old structure is being revamped. “The fort is being reconstructed from stone and cement by the FC,” he said. “We are using our own resources to carry out this initiative.”
According to Khattak, the fort is the main training centre for FC and thousands of recruits have been trained at the site. “We have hired labourers for reconstruction.”
He added, “However, Shabqadar Fort has not been declared a national heritage site by UNESCO.” It is situated 25 kilometres north of the provincial capital.
The fort was constructed on the orders of Sikh ruler Ranjeet Singh to protect Peshawar against Mohmand lashkars’ attacks. Made of mud and stone, and designed by Sikh architect Tota Ram in 1837, it is currently under the FC’s use and about 1,800 personnel of the force are trained here. Former British Prime Minister Winston Churchill stayed at this fort while he was in service and part of an expedition in the North-West Frontier of India.
Published in The Express Tribune, November 7th, 2015.