PESHAWAR— An educationist from Northern Dera Ismael Khan region of Khyber Pakhtunkhwa in Pakistan has helped around 95 educational institutions including Universities and others in provision of millions of fossils of human and other living animals. He collecting all these fossils from rough mountains, deserts and sea side’s throughout the country and now intends to help the Afghan government in this respect.

Atlas Khan Sheerani is a senior school teacher, fell in hobby of collecting these precious fossils incidentally when one of his Zoology student made frequent questions about it. “ I felt ashamed when failed in making satisfy the student, therefore, he left home for mountains for finding out these fossils,” he remarked, adding, “ finally succeeded in digging out huge materials, which become a new chapter of my life.” Almost collection of Atlas Khan Sheerani included remains (fossils) of sea animals, snakes, tortillas and others. He added that earlier he had gifted fossils of humans, animals, even plants, trees and others to different educational institutions.

Sheerani said that in fact these fossils are thousands of years old and most probably developed when the “livings including human, live stock, other animals and fish came under the debris.” All these parts of living body later on with passage of time, floods, fire and even climate changes converted into stones.

In response to a question, Atlas Khan said that after falling in love of this hobby he went for detail study of zoology books both printed and net. And he might be first one of this region, having too much details about the subject, he said and added that unfortunately there is no any organized or integrated efforts to retrieve all these precious fossils and make it available for detail research and further analysis. Whereas he through study confirmed that fossils are on top of priority of world standard education institutions, geo-meteorological sciences and even space departments throughout the world.

Sheerani while answering to a question, said that research and analysis of fossils is helpful for determination of climate changes, environmental study, medicines and other studies. Secondly he said that these fossils are also helpful in DNA studies and analyses. Even its research and analysis are helpful in hunt for oil, gas and other natural resources hidden in the nature.


So far he gifted millions of fossils to around 95 Educational institutions

Till so far Atlas Khan Sheerani is collecting these fossils through his own limited resources and later on approaching high ups and academicians of different universities and other educational institutions for its receipts. He is being assisted by his wife Shabana along with other children who are students in different educational institutions.  He said that so far he gifted millions of fossils to around 95 Educational institutions, most of in Khyber Pakhtunkhwa. Beside others these institutions are included Peshawar University, Islamia College University, Bacha Khan University Charsada, Khan Abdul Wali Khan University Mardan, Kohat University, Gomal University Dera Ismael Khan and others.

During this long journey Atlas Khan met with high ups and academicians from different universities and some of them offered him jobs for further research and some of them offered help in Ph D and other research studies. He said that while gifting these fossils to administration of Kohat University, they told him about opening of Paleontology department with his support. He assured them of whole hearted support but later on they didn’t responded.

Atlas Khan wants to help the Afghan government, universities, hospitals and other institutions in Afghanistan in this respect. For the purpose he visited Peshawar based Afghanistan consulate and briefed the concerned diplomatic staff in this respect. It seems that deteriorating relations between the two neighbouring countries are major hurdle before him in this respect.

Sajjad Ali
Sajjad Ali is the founder of Peshawar Today. He is a journalist by profession and working in field for the last ten years. Previously he worked for national media organizations including ‘The Nation’ Daily Pakistan Today, Khyber News. He also worked in media development sector. He can be reached at sajjad.sovereign@gmail.com

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