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MINGORA, June 29: The Italian Archaeological Mission working on archaeological sites in Swat district may pack up soon, due to which the historical sites may suffer.

Local residents have demanded preservation of the historical sites. Mr Afreen, a guard at the Mehmood Ghaznavi Mosque in Odigram, told TNN, “I have been performing duty as a security guard for last 21 years. But now this project is going to end and I will lose job. The government must provide jobs to me and other employees associated with archaeological sites.”

An archeologist, Mr Sikandar Khan, told TNN that there were 1,400 archeological sites in Swat. “Till now, this project was not run by the government but it was an Italian archeological project as they had signed an agreement with Wali-e-Swat (ruler of the princely state of Swat in the past) for 50 years.”