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   March  10, 2014


How long humiliation of Chitrali people should continue?

Since the closure of the Lawari Pass, there has been much hue and cry of the patriotic citizens of our beloved country, the ever enduring people of ill treatment of our governments. They remained loyal and loving to their country, Pakistan, despite the injustices done to them for six decades. When the so called dictator, General Pervaiz Musharaf came to their rescue from the confinement of harsh winters and made their long awaited dream of Lawari Tunnel, a reality, these half million peace loving and friendly people were relieved of their miseries. From 1908 no Chitrali died on top of the Lawari and no dead body was buried in the grave yards of Peshawar or some other city of Pakistan.Just after the digging of this natural obstacle was completed, I had the opportunity to go through the tunnel in my own vehicle. I prayed for the ‘dictator’ and still pray whenever I get through the Tunnel. I did not forget late Ja’ffar Ali Shah who had voiced this chronic issue in the National Assembly of Pakistan. He was mocked by some parliamentarians and Chitrali leaders for his repetition of this one point demand in every session of the Assembly. Then late Z.A. Bhuttu was the first PM who attended to this burning issue of the Chitral people and started excavation at the site. I also pray for that Prime Minister of Pakistan.
During the reigns of the successive democratic governments, starting from Shaheed Benazir and Mr. Nawaz Sharif, the project was thrown in to the dustbin. But, the people of Chitral remained loyal to the country and voted for the PPP of Bhuttu. They also voted for the PML (N). These fake democratic governments considered Chitralis just a burden on Pakistan. Their basic rights were continuously denied. They endured all these injustices, but what has been and is being exercised against them during the PPP’s last government and the present regime of Mr. Nawaz Sharif in the post Lawari period is no more than a cruel reprisal because of their voting in favour of the PML (Q) in 2008 Elections and in favour of the APML in 2013.

The commuters of Chitral only know that the Tunnel will remain open on Saturday and Sunday every week. They have not been informed through any means about the time schedule of its opening and closure. I was amongst the humiliated passengers who remained stranded at the Dir side of the Lawari Tunnel for four and a half hours from 4-30 t0 9PM on March 8, 2014.There were about 500 passengers including newly born babies, postnatal mothers and senior citizens returning from hospitals after operations/ treatments of their old age ailments. There were kidney patients requiring excessive water intake and discharge of urine. The babies and mothers and the olds and patients were mostly vulnerable to life risk. There was no a single washroom, even for the ladies. No eatables of hygienic nature and water available at the snow clad parking lot. The passengers did not have a clue of the reason of closure of the Tunnel after 4 PM. The most patriotic citizens of Pakistan had been in the hands of a foreign construction Company, called SAMBU. A passage made by a Dictator’s government had been closed upon the people of this soil in an era of democracy. The so blamed and accused of breaching of the Constitution of Pakistan is being tried of treason. Every Chitrali on the spot was questioning our democratic regimes as ‘is there no article in the Constitution of Pakistan about the basic human rights of this part of the Country? Have these patriotic citizens deserve ill-treatment, like slaves of the past monarchs? Are the lives of these people so unimportant in the eyes of our rulers? And the big question as to whether our democratic governments (exclusive of ZAB) have been treating Chitralis to intentionally creating rebellious feelings in their hearts and minds?

The situation is going to be more serious if the issue is not resolved on emergency basis. These people won’t be able to endure further maltreatment. Their patients should not be tried anymore; otherwise the result will be fatal.

Here I would like to request the CEO SRSP for constructing waiting rooms, may be, temporary shelters, for the people of his District on the Dir side of the Tunnel so that his country sisters and senior citizen should not be subject to humiliation. We are thankful to him and his organization for the waiting apartment constructed on the Chitral side of the Lawari Tunnel. I also request the Deputy Commissioner Dir- Upper to manage a hotel through some honest businessman where some hygienic eatables could be available for the Chitrali passengers.


Sher Wali Khan Aseer
(R) Principal and
Local Support Organization,
PUNAR, YarKhun, Chitral.



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