Chitral: For once the travel from Chitral down through the Lowari tunnel turned out to be a pleasant experience. Approaching the tunnel a person normally becomes apprehensive about the the holdup and the harassment which one has been used to in the past one decade of the tunnel. This time though, when our vehicle approached the tunnel we couldn’t believe our eyes when we did not see unnecessary security personnel cordoning off the tunnel and blocking your approach.
The tunnel was open and clear as it is meant to be. We glided inside the tunnel without any fuss and cruised through with ease and thanks to God. Few vehicles crossed us from opposite direction which meant the tunnel had finally been opened to use both-ways like it is designed to be. Because of letting in vehicles as they approached the tunnel, there was no smoke or pollution inside the tunnel. In all the travel through the tunnel was a pleasant experience for a change.
The removal of unnecessary barriers and checking of every vehicle after every few kilometers has also come as a big positive change and a move towards being a normal civilised society.
The other pleasant experience during the travel down was to see about five large and small coasters parked outside a roadside restaurant. When asked, we were told that the group was of 100 employees of Oil and Gas company who were going to Kalam for holiday cum conference. It may be noted that government has restricted institutions from taking their employees abroad for recreation/conferences and instead chose from among tourist locations in Pakistan for the purpose — Are we seeing change as promised? Maybe yes. though however feeble it may be, but steps are definitely forward in the right direction.?.. CN report, 22 Mar 2019