“Save Chitral, save Pakistan” campaign kicks off
CHITRAL:” If you want to save the plains of Pakistan, then rush to
save Chitral at first”, this is the message and motto of our
awareness campaign through which we want to expose the impending
dangers to the whole country emanating from melting of glaciers to
deforestation in Chitral, says Sartaj Ahmad Khan, convener of “Save
Chitral, save Pakistan” campaign.
Talking to Chitral Times here on Sunday, he said that during
the past couple of decades, the plains of the country have seen
unprecedented flash floods in Chitral have inflicted loss on the
physical infrastructures worth of billions of rupees and inundating
thousands of acres of fertile farm lands and bringing life
activities to a standstill for many weeks.
Mr. Khan lamented that no effort is made to stem the tide in its
origin by the successive governments including the present one as a
result of which the situation is tends to grim more both in Chitral
and other parts of the country.
He contended that the river of Chitral, re-enters the plains of the
country near Peshawar (where it is named as Kabul river) after
entering Afghanistan area in Arandu and the flood in Chitral river
causes flood in the Peshawar valley and downstream.
He said that Chitral is the home of 540 glaciers which fed
different tributaries of Chitral river and the phenomenon of
glacial lake outburst floods (GLOF) have wiped out a number of
villages in the summer season causing high flood in the river.
“The high floods in Chitral river also caused silting of the dams
both in Warsak and Tarbela which are fed by the river water and
thereby reduce their life span”, he said adding that steps should
be taken to stop of melting down of glaciers on war footings.
“The flash floods are the direct effect of deforestation on large
scale while the local people have no alternative sources to fulfill
their growing needs of both timber for construction and fuel for
heating and cooking”, he said.
He said that both the flash floods and the GLOF in Chitral are
man-made disasters to a great extent for which remedial measures
can be taken but it is not possible without addressing the basic
needs of the local people who must be given alternative means and
ways to utilize the natural resources.
Mr. Khan said that Chitral acted water reservoir for the plains of
the country and its disturbance to any degree can lead to a
colossal loss and it was driving force behind the campaign launched
He said that the campaign is aimed at highlighting the danger and
divert the attention of the government towards it for which
different modes of expression are being adopted ranging from
arranging seminars to awareness walks and protest processions.