This is with regards to the active discussion going on in the social media regarding the unsatisfactory state of progress of the Lowari tunnel shoulder roads particularly the road on the Chitral side of the tunnel.
In this regard, let me express my mind about the issue and in that, the posts put up by Shahzada Siraj Ul Mulk on facebook regarding the poor quality and slow pace of work on the Chitral side of the Lowari tunnel is not his own lone voice; it is rather the voice of the whole of Chitral which should have been raised 40 years ago. I have a passionate interest in the tunnel affairs because It was my father Ataliq Jafar Ali Shah who as MNA then, initiated the work on the Lowari tunnel. Little did he know that although his effort bore initial fruit but even 40 years later the road to the tunnel is still in the building stage.
I keep travelling on this road regularly and only carry disappointment and negative impressions each time I pass through. Dissecting the facts further,there is no doubt that the road condition on the north side is visibly far inferior in terms of construction and speed of work compared to work on the southern side.
The construction company under the radar ?Usmani and Associates? ought to realise that this is no ordinary road which can be suddenly abandoned in the hope of escalation of prices, as keeps happening in such cases. Many Chitralies have died crossing this road to get to other parts of the country. Now that they see some hope of getting an asphalt surface road they are not going to allow some construction company to play with such a road which means so much to them.
It was also a big disappointment to read the reproduced email of the lady director of the company (who seems well qualified according to her credentials mentioned below her post), getting very harsh and personal with Siraj Ul Mulk on the matter. The lady must know that the gentleman is speaking for Chitralis and for the cause of Chitral which is so obvious and we consider challenging him as challenging all Chitralis. Particularly the attempt to give a purely monetary matter a religious twist does not behove such an accomplished lady. It is in fact considered by sensible people as a desperate attempt to divert attention from the real issue. We as muslims respect the religious attire and practices but also consider honesty and fair play as the cardinal principles of Islam which should be put into practice. It is the maamilaat (everyday affairs) which determine how good muslim a person is.
I would like to demand here from the government of the day to form a committee of knowledgeable people to examine the work that the construction company has done relative to the money they have received and in comparison to the work done on the south side of the tunnel. We hope the government takes urgent cognizance of the situation, otherwise we as affected Chitralis would have no option but to file a case in the highest court of the country.??.. Wg Cdr (r) Fardad Ali Shah, 24 Sep 2018