Gul Hamaad Farooqi
CHITRAL: A large number of people from Kalash valleys organized a protest gathering in Ayun under the auspices of Muslim and Kailash Defence Council against the inordinate delay in the launch of work on the construction of Ayun to Kalash valleys road.
The protest gathering was presided over by Saleh Nizam Advocate.
Addressing the gathering, elders of Muslim and Kailash communities, including former women councillors, said Kalash valley is famous all over the world for its unique culture and natural beauty and the annual festivals attract thousands of tourists from all over the world. But once a tourist travels on this narrow and dangerous road, he advises his friends and others not to visit the Kailash valleys due to the pathetic condition of the road.
They said the valley borders with the Nuristan province of Afghanistan, a Taliban stronghold, from where terrorists frequently come here and in the past killed many Kalash people and took away hundreds of their livestock.
“A few years ago, a Greek engineer was abducted by the Taliban from the Kalash valley and due to the lack of road infrastructures, our forces returned without recovering him after chasing the intruders for several hours on foot, they added.
Kalash women on the occasion expressed their grievances against the MNA and MPA from Chitral for their failure to get work on the road started.
Elders of the Kalash tribe warned that if work on the road did not begin immediately, they would be forced to boycott their annual religious festival, Chhoms, etc., and this time tourists would be barred from attending the festival.
They said Rs4.60 billion had been sanctioned for the construction of this road in the previous government but due to unknown reasons work on the project could not be started.
The federal and provincial governments were urged to direct the NHA to start work on this road immediately.