Ancient dome on verge of destruction
JALALABAD (PAN): The dome and other portions of the grave of Shah Faizullah Agha, thought to be the first Hindu who converted to Islam in eastern Nangahar province, is on the verge of destruction, officials said on Sunday.
Buried in the Charbagh Safa area of Surkhrod district, 10 kilometres southwest of Jalalabad, Agha -- his Hindu name Ratan -- wrote a letter to Sultan Mahmud Ghaznavi, the most prominent ruler of the Ghaznavid Empire, asking him not to attack his tribe.
He was ready to accept all Ghaznavi's conditions, including conversion to Islam, according to Ustad Lal Pacha Azmoon, a senior journalist, who cited medieval texts.
The shrine dates back to the Ghaznavid period, he said, looking at the calligraphic works on the shrine's half-crumbled walls. Painted in black colour, the grave has two domes, one of them completely damaged.
Area resident Haji Farhad said the shrine started damaging when the civil war began. He said both residents and the government had failed to preserve the treasure.
"Everyone has played his part in damaging the shrine," the resident said in a reference to warlords during the jihad-era. He said the government should rescue the heritage site from being vanished.
Nangarhar information and cultural director Aurang Samim said his department needed funds to embark on the repair and renovation of historic sites. He said he had repeatedly appealed to the ministry concerned for funds, but failed to elicit any response.
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