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Islamabad: Saidpur Village, hub of tourists

The centuries-old Saidpur Village under the green Margalla Hills is serving the federal capital as a hub of tourists but its security arrangements needs to be beefed up. Preserving this artistic and rich cultural site in the foothills of Margalla is no doubt a remarkable effort to help revive the dying arts of the region and promote inter-civilization harmony but lack of security arrangements keep most of the visitors away from the site, said visitors to the village. The project was started by Capital Development Authority with an objective to make the village as a ‘model village’ in different phases, said an official of CDA, adding that Phase I of the project was completed while Phase II was pending due to shortage of funds.

About the security arrangements, the official said the project was leased after completion of Phase I and those who established business and entertaining points at the village have private security.

The place which has the footprints of various civilizations, including Gandhara, Greek, Buddhist, Mughal, Ashoka and the colonial periods, is now serving as a popular recreational spot for both local and foreign fun lovers as various restaurants, picnic spots, art gallery and cafes have been setup to entertain the visitors.

Famous for its traditional pottery, the village was the part of ‘Gakhar Tribe’ founded by Sultan Said Khan, son of Sultan Sarand Khan, who was father-in-law of Mughal Emperor Jehangir Khan.

It still has a number of remains of historical places like old gardens, Hindu temples, Gurdwaras and old houses, which are a source of attraction for both the locals and the foreigners, the official told APP. The project of making Saidpur Village as a model village was aimed at providing the visitors with the glimpses of multi-cultural heritage flourishing under the green Margallas.

The initiatives taken by CDA, he said, would provide income- generating opportunities to the residents and the artisans of the country through the establishment of arts and crafts shops in the premises of the village.—APP

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