Prof. Rahmat Karim Baig
Since a large part of KP consists of mountains with a rich asset of flora and fauna as well as a great volume of river system from the same mountains. The geographical location is so ideal that the divisions of Hazara and Malakand have got coniferous forest region of the province. The rains and snowfall give it the volume of water which is called ‘liquid gold’ and this is the basic material which is the source of life. All kind of life depends on it and scientists predict that in future there will be battles over this source of life and only those areas will survive where water sources are available.
In Malakand division the river system begins from the glacial stocks that lurk far off in the Hindu Kush and Hindu Raj ranges. The peaks that hem in the two districts of Chitral are surrounded by Hindu Kush range in the north west and by Hindu Raj in the east and all the water emanating from the springs and glaciers and then join to make small and bigger rivers come from these ranges. They flow at great speed and carry a large amount of silt and stones and GLOFs redouble the volume of these rivers leading to floods of immense height which brings disasters in the low lying settlements. This has been common every summer due to global warming. Owing to proximity of rivers the volume of water overflow the banks and damage crops and cut away the roads which also lie very close to the river beds. This type of floods have been a reoccurring headache for all the valleys of Chitral as well as Malakand division.
The Swat and Panjkora rivers flow southward from the Hindu Raj range and also cause floods due to monsoon rains and that also brings disaster to crops on both sides of the two rivers. All these rivers are in fact an invaluable asset and have to be utilized in the form of hydel power houses to supply energy to the people of the districts and also to other parts of the province and cash the income in billions but WAPDA has failed to utilize the ‘liquid gold’ and the provincial government has also been very lazy to build and generate enough energy from this source which, according to their own statements, is the cheapest energy and has to be used for our future.
Dams can also be built and water reservoirs also have to be constructed for the next generation. We are a nation with little thinking power and negative approach. We are wasting our natural resources. The only duty that we do is that We are cutting precious trees and causing deforestation. The two divisions mentioned above also have immense potential of tourism but we have so far failed to design plans to promote this source of foreign exchange. We are just a crowd and focus on personal interests and don’t think with open minds as a nation must; we are just beef eaters, not a wise community to think about future.