Vanishing History
Protecting The Past
Majestic Ruins
Occupying History
The rich cultural heritage of Pakistan's northwestern region has come under threat from Islamic militants, and just plain indifference. This region was home to the Ghandara civilization, which flourished 2,000 years ago, and is scattered with stunning ruins. Many have UNESCO world heritage status -- and have the potential to be major tourist attractions -- but are crumbling before our eyes.
'Symbols Of Infidels'
When schoolteacher Usman Ulasyar took steps to protect an ancient Buddhist site in Pakistan's northwestern Swat Valley in 2008, he was lucky to escape the brutal justice of the Tehrik-e Taliban (Pakistani Taliban). The extremist group, in control of much of the region at the time, considered the site to be filled with "symbols of infidels." The militants have since been routed from the area, but Ulasyar's struggle to safeguard local history from thieves and developers continues.

Produced by:
Daud Khattak, Ali Mahmood ,Ray Furlong, Jean Garner, Muhammad Yousfzai, Niaz Ahmad Khan, Pamir Sahill, Khalid Khan Kheshgi, MASH Productions, Jaroslav Ptáčník, Andrew Wills

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Special thanks to:
Mahmood Khan, Pakistan's sports, culture, and youth affairs minister; Dr. Abdul Samad, the head of Khyber Pakhtunkhwa's Museum and Archives Directorate; Usman Ulasyar, a social activist and schoolteacher in Saidu Sharif, Swat District; and the government of Khyber Pakhtunkhwa Province.

©2017 Radio Free Europe/Radio Liberty