Yesterday three visitors to Chitral from Tajikistan were
intercepted by the Chitral police and sent back to Islamabad one
day after their arrival. The three had come from a well known hydro
electric company called Pamir Energy in Tajikistan with a valid NOC
from the govt of Pakistan to suggest improvements in the
construction of small hydro electric projects.
There are many such projects which different NGO's have built with
the help of local communities to supply affordable electricity to
villages in Chitral.
With valid Pakistani visa's and a valid NOC these three had flown
from Dushanbe to Lahore from where they travelled to Islamabad
where they stayed for four days before taking a flight to Gilgit
and then traveling for twelve hours by road to get to Chitral. If
there was any reason to intercept them and cut their visit short
this could have easily been done on their arrival in Lahore or
their stay in Islamabad or Gilgit. At least it would have caused
them less discomfort and not given Pakistan such a bad name.
Besides the fact that we feel upset at the way the police treated
these three friendly guests from a neighbouring country its the
people of Chitral who eventually suffer the most due to such acts.
The NGO's are not so upset. In fact some of them are even happy to
use " security issues" for their non-performance. Some of them are
even happy that their donors cannot come to monitor how their money
is being spent to improve the lot of the Chitrali public.
What has happened to these three Tajiks will be a good case for the
authorities of KP to take up. Here in Chitral people everywhere
feel that the government is missing. If the government was doing
its job here we would not need any NGO's to receive funding in our
name. But until that happens please take it easy with this "
security" that you have unleashed in the most peaceful part of our
whole country. This peace has come about ONLY because of the people
of Chitral since the past seventy years of the existence of
Pakistan. If peace is now disturbed here it will ONLY be due to the
authorities who are claiming to give us " security".