Hundreds stranded as tunnel closed on Chitralis

UPPER DIR, Feb 8: About 80 vehicles carrying people going to Chitral have stranded near the southern portal of the under-construction Lowari Tunnel at Upper Dir as the security officials are not allowing them to cross the passageway. lowari-4As a result, the passengers, including women and children, are shivering in the cold as night fell. Some of the people who approached the security forces guarding the tunnel and requested them to allow them to pass the tunnel were beaten back. Our correspondent Alhaj Mohammad Khan was also among the passengers stranded on the road. He said when they got the news that the road to Chitral had been opened for traffic, they left Peshawar early Friday. However, somewhere near Upper Dir, the road was closed after a truck overturned there. When the truck was removed from the road after about three hours and the Chitral-bound traffic reached the tunnel, it had already been closed. The security officials did not allow the passengers despite being told that there were a large number of women and children who cannot bear the biting cold under the open sky at night. Till filing of this report at 12:10am on Saturday, the passengers remained stranded with no one to approach to help them reach their destination. It is disturbing that there is no system to help the passengers avoid such troubles. When there are no alternatives and passengers are left under the open sky in snow-capped mountains, why the security personnel guarding the tunnel are so callous and stop the passengers from using the tunnel. Is there anyone who can be held responsible for such public sufferings? Javeed Farooqi from University of Peshawar reports: Two of my friends have called me from the ’Dir side of Lawari tunnel. They are there waiting for four hours and the SAMBO authorities are not allowing their vehicles carrying hundreds of passengers  to cross the tunnel. “When our atrocities will come to an end and who will come to give a final touch to our miseries,’’ says Rehmat Pannah who was staying here in Peshawar for three days waiting for the suitable day to pass the through tunnel to go home. Before coming here, he was in Lahore for the last one month performing his duties in a school as a trainer of Chemistry. On the other hand, Alhaj Mohammad Khan who was going back to Chitral after appearing in the psychological test of CSS said on telephone from Upper Dir that he was enjoying the moments and taking it as an adventure of life. If so so many ladies, patients and old aged people are suffering as a young man I have no fear. When my friends were talking to me on the phone from near the tunnel, I could hear the sounds of passengers chanting slogans and surely in panic.  ]]>

2 Replies to “Hundreds stranded as tunnel closed on Chitralis”

  1. Pervez Musharraf constructed the Lowari tunnel but our democratic government is now torturing us at the mouth of the very same tunnel. When the roads are clsoed the governmnet should make special arrangements for the passengers but now they are forced to spend the night on the mountain in so much snow.This is shameful for our political leaders of Chitral too.

  2. This is terible that after having a tunnel of our dream we are now facing humiliation at the hands of construction workers of a foreign country. Our own security forces have also no respect for us. One of my friends called me that a security man at the tunnel even loaded his gun to aim it at the poor Chitralis when they insisted to go ahead and cross the tunnel. Where are our political leaders. They must be held accountable for their crminal negligence and for failing to protect our basic right of free movement.

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