In Pakistan, home is where the cave is

Bomb-proof, earthquake-resistant and cheap: thousands of Pakistanis are choosing to hunker down in caves northwest of Islamabad, snapping up the hobbit-like homes amid a nationwide housing shortage.

Located around 60 kilometers (40 miles) from Pakistan’s capital, nearly 3,000 people live in caves in the village of Hasan Abdal, according to councilor Haji Abdul Rasheed — whose own home is among the dwellings carved into the rugged, earthen hillside embankments.

Rasheed’s spartan cave — or “buray” as it is locally known — consists of a few minimally furnished rooms complemented by a breezy veranda.

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