CHITRAL: A young man, who was later identified as a soldier of Chitral Levies, burst into tears in Atalique Bazaar when the news of the plane crash was broken on the afternoon of December 7.
?Our Saab was also aboard the plane,? were his words before he fainted in sheer grief. It was found later that the person he was talking about was ?Saab? of all the dwellers of Chitral. The tenure board of the occupants in the office of deputy commissioner shows the names of 91 officers as heads of the district administration starting from 1895 but Osama Ahmed Warraich seems to have ingrained his name in the hearts of people as well.
Osama Ahmed Warraich arrived in Chitral on October 16, 2015 when the district had been devastated by floods that rendered hundreds of people homeless besides damaging roads, bridges, irrigation channels and hydropower stations.
The earthquake of October 26 added to the miseries of the people beyond description. As a team leader, he took only three days for survey and compilation of the damage and starting disbursement of compensation amount.
During his visit to Chitral, a day after the earthquake, Prime Minister Mian Nawaz Sharif had ordered payment of compensation amount within 48 hours and Osama accomplished it accordingly.
He made his weight felt in all the fields of administration as its district head but he will be remembered for his crusade against encroachments and redemption of each and every inch of the state land from the possession of illegal occupants. His relentless operation against encroachers in Chitral won applause for him from the public.
Establishment of first ever public park in the district also goes to his credit. Osama had also started work on renovation of district headquarters hospital, which was in ramshackle state. He had established contacts with different organisations to ensure availability of diagnostic facilities in the hospital.
Setting up a free coaching centre for students to get prepared for entry tests for admission to medical and engineering colleges was yet another feather in his cap. He had initiated preliminary work for establishing public parks in Booni and Drosh towns but he was not destined to realise it.
For the last couple of months, Osama seemed to be in a hurry as he was completing a number of the amelioration projects in a great haste. He had got sanctioned a hefty amount of Rs500 million for reconstruction of suspension bridges in upper Chitral that were washed away by the flash floods last year.
His untimely demise in the plane crash bewildered the people of Chitral who mourned his death widely. ?He will remain foremost amongst Chitral?s most cherished sons,? said DPO Syed Ali Akbar Shah.
District nazim Maghfirat Shah said that it was a matter of shock for the district government to lose an officer like Osama. He added that the deceased officer had exceptional qualities.
Published in Dawn December 26th, 2016