By Dur Wali Khan
Laspur valley starts from Onshut and ends with Sorlaspur, a fairy land located at extreme north of Chitral and right at the mouth of Shandur, an extension and natural offshoot of Laspur valley. It is pertinent to mention here that Shandur while overlooking Sorlaspur serves as a grand pasture with its summer dwellings/huts (termed Shall by the locals) of the inhabitants of Laspur valley and forms its natural and integral part.
The entire valley had a large significance during the reign of ex-state rulers of Chitral because of the exemplary valiance of its inhabitants carrying rich traditions. The valley has a unique picturesque beauty and its entrancing scenic spell and panoramic view holds the visitors/tourists spellbound during summers.
The people of this historic valley are known for their unparalleled heroic deeds demonstrating their gallantry during both peace and war in the history of Chitral, thereby endearing them to the state rulers of that time and earning their special attention and respect.
The valley is a beautiful blend of eight small villages: Onshut, Shahidas, Gasht, Harchin, Raman, Brok, Baleem and Sorlaspur – each village bearing a unique and distinctive tale of its own narrating its glowing history and heroic feats of performance.
The population of the valley, according to the latest census, is around thirty thousand with 65 % literacy rate.
The credit for the enhanced literacy rate in the valley goes both to the government and private schools. There is one government higher secondary school located at Harchin, two high schools, one middle school and 10 primary schools, two private colleges, two private schools, one Aga Khan high school, five Aga Khan primary schools and one CBS school taking care of education in the valley.
There is one government BHU and one Aga Khan health centre providing healthcare to the people.
Hydroelectric power stations:
To meet the energy requirements of the valley, NGOs, namely AKRSP and SRSP, with the help of community organizations have established hydroelectric power stations in each village of the valley.
The telecom technology in Pakistan has come a long way during the past decade. It has reached the remotest parts of the country, Laspur valley being no exception to it.
The valley is connected not only with rest of the country but also with the entire globe. You can communicate with your relatives,friends and acquaintances sitting in any part of the world. PTCL wireless loop and mobile phone companies are operating in the entire valley successfully.
Laspur river originating from Bashqar Gol duly fed by three small tributaries on its way, namely Rizhun Gol, Raman Gol and Gasht gol flows down and joins Yarkhun river at Sarghuz Mastuj. It abounds with trout fish.
These include Shandur boasting of the highest polo ground in the world with two beautiful lakes surrounding it, Bashqar Gol, Rezhun Gol, Shachu Gol, Phargram Gol and Harchin Jinali.
Folk dances and songs:
The folk dances peculiar to this valley are Pastek and Nohritic where the dancers perform in a group of seven. The dancers perform a synchronized physical feat first and then dance making a circle while singing together in chorus.
Among the folk songs associated with the valley, we have Nandoshi , Laspriko sum bol boghe and Daq Baleemo jawan yardust Khosh darim.
The people of this great valley have invariably proved their mettle whenever put to test.