Lowari tunnel a blessing for Chitral

CHITRAL: Since the completion of Lowari tunnel and its opening to the public transport in 2017, the provision of essential commodities has been quite smooth throughout the year and the problem of shortages has now become history for the people of Chitral.

The district would remain cut off from rest of the country during the winter season which extended to five months starting from December as the Lowari Pass remained closed to all types of traffic with the first snowfall, leaving the people captive within the confines of the lofty mountains on all sides.

Hakim Mujeebullah of Shahi Bazaar said that before opening of the Lowari tunnel the miseries of people would increase in winter season, as the only contact with rest of the country was through the PIA Fokker flights, which were also subject to fair weather.

He said that during the closure of Lowari Pass, the acute shortage of food items, medicines and petroleum products would make the life miserable for the people as prices would also register a significant increase.


Haji Anwar Shah said that a few affluent traders were encouraged to stockpile the essential food items before closure of the Lowari Pass while the oil products were stored in the depot of Pakistan State Oil in a limited quantity.

However, he said that now the situation was totally different and all daily use items, including fresh fruit and vegetable, were available throughout the winter season.–Zahiruddin

4 Replies to “Lowari tunnel a blessing for Chitral”

  1. We have a habit of believing anything without any evidence. Ataliq Jaffer Ali Shah first advocated the tunnel and came to be known as the tunnel for advocating that in the national assembly. ZA Bhutto initiated the tunnel after the coup in Kabul which brought the anti Pakistan Daud to power and the ANP in KP started talking about a route to Chitral via the Kunar valley. After initial work Mr Bhutto was informed that there were no resources to initiate the tunnel he wrote on the Lowri file to keep scratching and the tunnel will be built one day. But for all practical purpose work on the tunnel was stopped during his time for lack of resources. The next attempt to build the tunnel was in 1987 when the USAID chief in Pakistan became its biggest advocate saying that it would be compared with the Salang tunnel and be remembered as a monument of USAID in Pakistan, a highly visible project. An amount of Rs 10 million was allocated in the next year budget for its feasibility. But the conclusion that the USAID reached that it required US dollar 150 million made them give up the idea. During the first prime ministership of Benazir Bhutto an attempt was made to revive it. But the major donors to Pakistan said that in view of pull out of the Russian forces from Pakistan and the possibility of peace in Afghanistan the Kunar route could be taken as an alternative and funding for the tunnel would be unjustified.
    After 9/11 Pakistan’s financial position vastly improved and the budget had enough resources to initiate large infrastructure projects.
    General Musharraf always believed that he owed a lot of the people of GB and Chitral for their sacrifices and Kargil. More than anything it was this factor plus the new technologies that were now available for building the tunnel that made him make the decision. During Zardari Presidency a wise decision was made to replace the rail tunnel with a regular tunnel. But unfortunately no resources were made available and the building of the tunnel was almost given up.
    During Nawaz Sharif’s government he put in vast resource to initiate and complete the tunnel. He was driven by the fact that he probably wanted to exorcise the ghost of Musharraf from Chitral. So the tunnel is a long story owning bits of it to different people.

  2. گل آمان صاحب آپ کی رائے کا احترام کرتے ہیں۔آپ مشرف کے خلاف بولنے کے لئے کو ئی موقع نہیں چھوڑتے ہیں۔یقیناً لواری ٹنل پر کا م ذلفقار علی بٹھو اور سر اتالیق کی کوششوں سے ہوا تھا۔پھر چترالیوں کی دو نسلیں گزر گئیں ۔کسی کی ہمت نہیں تھی اس پروجیکٹ پر کام شروع کرتا۔کیونکہ اس کے لئے خطیر فنڈ کی ضرورت تھی۔اور چترال سے کوئ ملک کے لئے آمدنی نہیں تھی۔کیوں پپلز پارٹی اور مسلم لیگ کے ادوار میں کام نہیں ہوئے۔وہ کرا سکتے تھے۔مشرف کے دبی میں چترالیوں سے خطاب کی ویڈیو دیکھے آپ کو پتہ چلیگا کہ کسی طرح لواری ٹنل پر کام شروع کیا گیا۔نیٹو وغیرہ کی باتیں ایک خیالی باتیں ہیں۔ڈیکٹٹر تھا ان کا یہ ڈکٹٹرشپ چترالیوں کے کام آگیا۔ابھی جنوری کے مہینے میں بھی آپ کے گاوں میں تازہ سبزیاں ملتی ہیں۔سفر کے لئے پر خبر افعانستاں کا راستہ استعمال کرنا نہیں پڑتا۔مشرف اگر یہ ٹنل پر کا م شروع نہ کرواتا تو ہمارے اگلی نسلیں بھی وہی تکلیفیں برداشت کرتی جو کہ ہم اور ہمارے ابا اجداد کرتے آئے ہیں۔

  3. Yes Mohtaram Zahiruddin sahib, its indeed a blessing for Chitralies.You can say a noble gift by Shaheed ZAB and late MNA of Chitral Mohtaram Ataliq jaffer Ali Shah sahib.we Chitrali will diffnetly offer our salute and gratitude to these wonderful leaders of our political life.we pray to Almighty Allah for their souls may rest in vary high place in Jinnat e Firdou.and also we say our thanks to the then PM of Islamic Republic of Pakistan Mohtaram Nawaz Sharif and his Government for providing huge funds for Lawari tunnel, otherwise it wasn’t possible to complete of this historic project.one percent cradit is going to dictator Musharraf for reopening this project while it was not for Chitralians but for NATO forces and his close ally Amarica.Amarica was looking a safe route for NATO supplies in Afghanistan so Mr Dictator offered them this route and USA provided huge funds for this purpose so MR dictator suddenly reopened work on this project.so yeh we thank for his little share too.

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