Roads of Chitral districts
.. by Prof RK Baig
The districts of Chitral have got a peculiar geographical location and that has always made it difficult for leadership to comprehend the strategic importance of this region because they have failed to pay serious attention to understand the difficulties of the inhabitants of Chitral as the confusing spurs of Hindu Kush around Chitral are? not clear to the ordinary educated class? and the so called elite also have poor knowledge of the dimensions of its geographic location. It was understood at first by late Z.A.Bhutto ?on the demand of the Chitralis who took the issue seriously and initiated the Lowari ?tunnel to build an all weather link with the rest of the country but luck was not in favour of Chitralis and the next time it was Gen. Perwaiz Musharaf who took it seriously and resumed the outstanding work and he was true to his word. We are grateful to him for his courageous? mega project and now the completion of the tunnel has made life much easy for both non Chitralis and Chitralis and it has accelerated the pace of business activities in the two districts and has minimized? unemployment especially for outsiders as local Chitralis have got no flair for business due to ?absence in the tradition of the inhabitants, both Kho and Kalash, who have never run businesses as? political conditions were not favourable at that stage of history plus paucity of capital to open business or start entrepreneurship which was added by a third limitation i.e. capacity to form joint ventures as in vogue in other communities.
Now the Tunnel is open but inside the two districts the condition of roads in all the valleys and side valleys is so poor that any visitor would show empathy with Chitralis on the failure of the leadership-our elected representatives who could not perform according to the expectations of the electorate. Their election slogans are recorded and could be shown on their re appearance in the constituencies if they are rash enough to show their figures. Their absence from the districts and lack of contact with voters as well as failure to respond to calls makes things grimmer for their future. Our roads are in the poorest condition from all standards. Our representation in the legislatures is lamentable showing their incompetency. We need immediate improvement of all Pukka and Kacha roads across the districts to make transport system better by a few percent and continuous work on improvement of roads for the rest of the financial period.
The total? length of Pukka roads ?in upper Chitral district is just about 35 km compared to its 8000 plus sq.km. area and that is a big sham for the provincial government. It means that this part of Chitral has been totally neglected in the last 70 years and this deprivation paves the path for a mass uprise, ?simmering for years, and may rise to ?boiling ?point any time and that stage of ??boil or bursting may spill over the rims of the cup. The idea of promotion of Tourism , in this background, is highly naivee and no change or improvement is possible ?per party slogan unless the roads are selected as top priority and improved ?to some of the favourite and high profile tourist destinations like Terich Mir BC, Shandur, Kalash valleys, Madak Lasht, Susoom etc. Construction of Torkho road is so slow that it may not reach completion stage? by the end of? next decade as ten years? have already been wasted. The representatives must focus on improvement of roads on the basis of the announcement of the CM of KP and expedite the work in double shifts a day. Workers of PTI are hopeful that Chitral will get due attention from the CM? whose visit to observe the ?above stated poor condition of road system will be appreciated or Chitralis are disappointed and look for other options. The Chak dara -Chitral road vision is a vision but first of all look at the roads inside the districts? and improve them fit for traffic of human beings. .. by Prof. Rahmat Karim Baig, Chitral 03 Jul 2019