PESHAWAR, Dec 9: Without doing anything, political leaders from Chitral have started making public statements and issuing warnings to the government to open the Lowari Tunnel in the winter. But is anybody listening to them?
On Monday, MPA Saleem Khan along with some other people from Chitral addressed a press conference in Peshawar and warned that they would hold protest demonstrations outside parliament in Islamabad if the government failed to immediately open the Lowari Tunnel. He said the recent snowfall had caused severe problems for the people of Chitral because they were facing food shortage and rates of daily-use commodities had increased manifold.
“We have already informed all the quarters concerned including chief secretary, chairman National Highway Authority (NHA), secretary communication, about the people’s sufferings. Now we are being told that the tunnel will be open once a week,” Mr Saleem said. He said the rulers had failed to meet the expectations of the nation, saying that the previous government had kept the tunnel open round the year. He said the people had voted both the PML-N and the PTI on basis of their election manifestos but these parties failed to materialize their commitments.
The MPA said PIA flights to Chitral had also been reduced and now only tow flights were operated weekly and that also depend on weather conditions. Likewise, he said airfare had been increased to Rs8000 from Peshawar to Chitral and Rs7000 from Chitral to Peshawar and the poor people were unable to pay such huge amount.