Chitral Today
Latest Updates and Breaking News. Editor: Zar Alam Khan.

“Traveling at your own life’s risk

Chitralis travel at the risk of our own precious lives due to no other option. You got me. I’m talking about the terrible, awful and scary travel we usually take through Lowari top; especially in winters. It’s not only the Lowari pass, it’s both the lower sides of the Lowari as well i-e the Dir Side and Ashirat side; even if you are going through Lowari tunnel. As a family member or friend if someone you know is traveling to Chitral or Peshawar especially during winters you can’t sleep at nights. You have to keep praying for their safe travel because you know it’s either safe arrival or not. There is no other option. Am I being so pessimistic? No. Who on the planet earth would travel through Dir, Lowari and Ashirat if there is 2-3 feet snow? Who, a rational being, would travel in a coach, coaster, car on such roads which go along narrow ravines, on bumpy roads with snow on it? lowari2 copyNo one but a Chitrali would do so. Out of necessity and exigency! It’s “Majbori”, justifiably. You a son working in Pakistan Army or Chitral scouts and you have two-three weeks leaves once a year or twice a year. You have to see your family even if it’s snowing or storming. You are a daughter studying in city and all of a sudden your campus is closed for weeks or unidentified period due to terrorist attacks on Govt institutions. You have no other option but to travel to your remote village even if the travel might be dangerous enough to invite an accident. You are a brother whose brother or sister is getting married and you don’t want to miss the family gathering of lifetime. Again you have to travel to this land of peaceful (and passive) people. Even if it’s taking one day stay at Lowari tunnel in icing cold weather and freezing night. Oh no ! you are a patient. You need medical checkups on monthly basis in the city. You have to die staying in the village or take the risk of equal cost and go to the city for checkup. Even if it means becoming more ailing and sick on the way due to bad weather, poor road infrastructure and lawari top adventure. You HAVE TO travel. It was spring 2012. I was traveling to Chicago from Evansville, Indiana USA. Our bus was stopped in one of the bus stations during travel. The driver politely explained that that there’s a tornado forecast on the way. So it’s not safe to travel. The company (Greyhound) cares for its passengers and can’t take the risk to drive. The Govt cares for its citizens and it’s against the law to travel when there is a tornado, storm or heavy snowfall forecast. It was just a forecast but it was against the law to travel when it’s dangerous. Here, our bus stations (ada) people want you to get out of the ada as soon as possible. Once you are out of ada they don’t care whether you live or die. The Government has no set rules implemented for passengers’ safety and no systematic mechanism for transport companies, agents and service providers. There are not set timings, travel itinerary, safety measures, weathers forecast, planned coordination etc. You have to see your family, take tests, attend interviews, and do medical checkups, whatever! You have to travel. And yes, you are traveling at your life risk if you are a Chitrali. Transporters don’t give a damn. Government doesn’t care. We are just a small segment of an unfortunate society living in the mountains of a landlocked valley Chitral famous for its scenic beauty and peace. Who cares! The writer blogs at:]]>

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