ISLAMABAD: MNA Shahzada Iftikharuddin here lambasted the government for its callous attitude towards resolution of communication issues being faced by the people of Chitral.
The MBA of All Pakistan Muslim League (APML) was speaking at a crowded press conference along with notables of Chitral at National Press Club Islamabad on Thursday.
MNA Iftikhar accused the PML-N led federal government of treating the people of Chitral like ‘apartheids’ by continuously ignoring their requests made to the prime minister about the problems faced by them especially keeping the tunnel open in winter.
“I’ve written several letters to prime minister to keep the tunnel open in winter some 5-6 months back besides meeting some of his advisers but all in vain…this is how the federal government is treating us in the 21st century,” he lamented.
The MNA said that about 600 trucks, carrying edibles items, oil and other goods of daily use have been stopped from entering into Chitral at Dir side of the tunnel by National Highway Authority (NHA) creating a humanitarian disaster in the valley where people are facing acute shortage of basic food items necessary for survival.
The MNA also flayed the government for Rs1 billion allocation for Lowari tunnel in the last year budget, saying it should have been at least Rs4 billion. He recalled that in Gen Musharraf government, drilling of the tunnel was completed only in two years but then the respective government failed to complete the remaining work which reflects how serious they are about people of Chitral.
“The completion of the tunnel is in the interest of the whole country as it will connect us with the central Asian states so it must not be linked only with the people of Chitral”, he elaborated. He appreciated two days a week opening of the tunnel by chief minister Khyber Pakhtunkhwa Pervez Khattak but demanded the federal government to keep the tunnel open for 8 hours on daily basis.
“It is purely humanitarian issue as people could not bring the patients to Peshawar for treatment. The dead bodies could not be transported to Chitral for burial. The poultry could not survive in the harsh winter due to long wait at tunnel at Dir side”, he added.
He warned that the people of Chitral must not be treated like apartheids, saying it was only district which remained peaceful when Malakand division was taken over by the militants.
“We the people of Chaitral are the first who joined Pakistan without any condition…we are educated, peaceful and patriotic people, and the government must not resort to discrimination as far as basic human right are concerned or sense of deprivation will grow”, he asserted.
Iftikhar said that Chitral is the only district where even not a single cracker was exploded. The money which the governments spends to eradicate militancy in rest of the areas, he added, the people of Chitral should at least be given their rights if nothing else. He made it crystal clear that closure of Lowari tunnel must not be politicized as it is purely a humanitarian issue.
“I appeal the prime minister, PTI chief Imran Khan and chief minister KP to take pity on the people of Chitral”, he added. The MNA also touched upon the PIA flights and said that the number of flights have been reduced from 21 to two per week which are also subject to weather.
“I’ve become fed up of moving calling attention notices and adjournment motion in National Assembly on issues faced my people but nobody cares”, said the MNA. To a question about vacating his NA seat for Musharraf if he is cleared from all the cases by the courts, he reiterated that he had already offered and would do so in future as his services for area could not be ignored.
“The people of Chitral don’t change faces…Zulfikar Ali Bhutto is still being remembered by them for his services to the area and same is the case with Musharraf because he had undertaken numerous uplift projects including mega Lowari tunnel which tops the list,” he concluded.
9 Replies to “MNA slams federal govt’s callous attitude towards Chitral”
Dears, what about our representatives sitting in the assemblies. This is actually their duty to solve our problems. The initiatives of these politicians should be appreciated at least they are raising their voices against the injustices and our MNA and MPAs are sleeping. Please be rational.
Manzoor Ali Shah I fully agree with you on the point that there are many other issues other than Lowari that our politicians can work on. It seems that the season is right for only point scoring rather than working on these issues. All the gentlemen in the picture have been staunch opponents of the Lowari tunnel over the years but have fooled the Chitralis very well on the issue during the elections.
No wonder great and precious words have been used by the honorable MNA. This is how these corrupt puppet politicians are diverting all Chitralis attention to only one problem as though their are no other problems to be solved other than tunnel. To me this seems like there is no road other than Lowari, these politicians sleep whole summer and spring, and never look towards poor Chitrali people. In winter as we know they don’t have to do anything, they think better to divert people’s attention towards the Lowari tunnel issue.
They are not honest as they are with their money, they trying to find way to get bribe.
Great job Iftikharuddin. Those who have suffered and gone through the deadly environment will realize that how difficult are the months during winter without basic needs to survive. The representatives of Chitral should unite on this issue.
Yeah great thinking Shahzada Iftikhar sab. We are in trouble and will be in trouble. the tannel has been made to secure the lives of people. The current leaders have to take keen interest in this matter. We sre facing a lot of problems travelling from Chitral to Peshawaar. Therefore, it is said that if we have healthy life than we can chill the world.
Yes the current schedule of the tunnel to remain open is not according to the promise, and not completely solving the problems which Chitrali passengers are facing especially women and children.
Very good. Never dare to talk and finish the project. these all are puppets. We Chitralis can shoulder the difficulties but who can fund and finish the project? Wake up Chitral and kick these guys out of the assembly.
Well done Shahzada Iftikhar and Shahzada Sikandar.