Lowari Tunnel Inaugurated at last !
Kufr toota khuda khuda kar kay!
Chitral .. Prime Minister Nawaz Sharif inaugurated the Lowari tunnel today, Thursday 20 July 2017 – A milestone in the history of Chitral when it opens through an all weather road to the rest of the country. The Lowari tunnel has already set a world record of any tunnel taking so long to complete.
The people of Chitral have been suffering ignominious difficulties all this time in winters when the Lowari pass got blocked for six months and there was no other road connection for the people to use.
The concept of a tunnel through the Lowari pass was first presented by the late Ataliq Jafar Ali Shah as member of West Pakistan Assembly in 1957. In 1973 as the first MNA from Chitral he moved a resolution demanding the Lowari tunnel and got it passed unanimously by the National Assembly. The then PM Zulfiqar Ali Bhutto honoured that resolution and work was initiated on the tunnel in 1975. However not much progress was made on the job till 1977 when Bhutto’s govt was toppled by Gen Ziaul Haq and the tunnel was abandoned completely and immediately. A section of the Chitrali population was against the tunnel on the fears that the culture of Chitral would be adversely affected by this facility.
After Ziaul Haq’s fall, the subsequent governments of Benazir Bhutto and Nawaz Sharif completely ignored the Lowari tunnel, until Gen Musharaff assumed power. He took personal and genuine interest in construction of the tunnel and the project was re-initiated in 2005. After the fall of Musharraf the subsequent PPP governments again shelved the project and diverted it’s allocated funds to Multan and Larkana.
Only after Nawaz Sharif came back to power in 2013 elections, did work resume on the project and the dilly dally progress courtesy the NHA and the SAMBU finally ended up in the 98 percent completed tunnel inaugurated by PM Sharif, today.
In his address at the inauguration ceremony PM Sharif expressed joy over the completion of the tunnel besides promising more developmental works on demand of the MNA Chitral Shahzada Iftikharuddin. .. CN report, 20 July 2017.