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Putting Chitral on track to development

The beautiful, biologically diverse and charming valley of Chitral is a district in the province of KP located in the north-western Pakistan. chitralkpkThe breathtaking views of this mountainous region and the unparalleled hospitality of its people have always captured the attention of not only the people from other cities across Pakistan but also from the rest of the world. Unfortunately, due to mismanagement and lack of attention by successive governments, Chitral was not given the importance it deserved for development to bring it at par with the rest of the country. This was despite the fact that the people of Chitral have always been highly receptive to new ways of life and development because of their modern outlook. In spite of the shortcomings, this district maintains highest literacy rate in the province of Khyber Pakhtunkhwa. Notably, the number of girls attending school is almost similar to that of boys. The federal government and many private entrepreneurs are in a constant effort to further improve the state of education in the valley. Recently, “Chitral Child Survivor Programme”, a campaign in which the Khyber Pakhtunkhwa government geared up efforts in collaboration with the Aga Khan Development Network, was successfully completed. It is surely a very proud moment to be cherished by all of the countrymen. This programme was estimated to continue for five years beginning in 2008. It was especially designed to train midwives for Chitrali community. According to the Aga Khan School of Nursing and Midwives, “Around 28 midwives for the community were trained with the basic aim to reduce maternal and child mortality rate. This programme resulted in a remarkable improvement in the health standards of maternal and child health from 33% to 82%”. This is not the end, on technological grounds Pakistan Telecommunication Authority (PTA) has also upgraded DSL and wireless internet services in Chitral that were severely damaged due to heavy snowfalls. The PTCL vowed that they were determined to providing quality services to the residents of Chitral. People in Chitral have always been receptive to the ever-changing technological changes taking place across the country and the globe. Use of Internet is getting popular in the area day by day. The interests of locals can be measured by the rise in the use of online portals to buy cars, jewellery, shoes and other household appliances and even clothes from websites. Around 1,000 students from Chitral were trained in Information Technology education to make use of the latest technological developments occurring around world. Lowari Tunnel is at the verge of its completion which is the most important pathway for people in Chitral. It will not only benefit locals but will also pave the way for trade between Pakistan and Tajikistan and hence open Pakistan’s trade to Central Asia. Being Pakistanis, we all are proud of having Chitral and its cultural values and unique traditions but maintaining, promoting and improving its culture throughout the country and the world should be our number one priority. Chitral has the potential to excel in all fields ranging from trout farming to attracting tourists from across the globe. We should keep ourselves focused on whether it is the issue of promoting language issues in Chitral or emancipation of women, a lot of efforts are still required to be made. Mr Ahsan Hayat is based in Germany and works for a German Start-up ( that is operating in various countries, including Pakistan.      ]]>

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