There is a need to develop more tourist resorts in and around Islamabad to attract local and foreign visitors. One such site, which has a great potential to attract visitors, is the Shah Allah Ditta caves situated about 3 kilometres north of Sector D-12. A Google search on this 2400-year-old Buddhist archaeological site amply highlights its importance. The photographs of the caves and the centuries-old trees around them keep appearing in the local newspapers. The recent ones appeared on August 30 and 31 in The News. Two years ago, the then chairman of CDA had announced initiation of development work there however nothing has happened since then. These caves are situated at the foot of the Margalla Hills towards Islamabad. A proper metalled road also passes close to the caves and goes to the top of the hills and beyond right up to the Khanpur Dam. With a little bit of effort I am sure this route up to the hilltop and beyond can also attract a large number of visitors just like the Pir Sohawa route. There is a need to install lights along the road for safe night-time driving.
The village Shah Allah Ditta also has a historical significance. The local people say that the village is more than 700-year-old and carries its name after a Mughal-era dervish. It is said that the place and the route going up the hills and beyond was visited by Alexander the Great and Sher Shah Suri. It is therefore suggested that the village be developed on the pattern of the Saidpur Village to attract more visitors.
Cdre (r) Sajjad Bokhari