Photos by Abdul Nasir Khan
YARKHUN: As the countdown for the visit of His Highness Prince Karim Aga Khan to Chitral has already begun, besides other preparations his followers have started repairing the jeep track from Yarkhun to Booni on a self-help basis.
Sher Wali Khan Aseer, a prominent retired educationist, writer and author, told ChitralToday that volunteers were busy in different villages to repair the road from Khruzg towards Booni where the His Highness is expected to give Didar to his followers in connection with his diamond jubilee celebrations the world over.
He said the road from Bang to Booni was in a very poor shape due to a lack of proper maintenance and repair, and travel on the over 80 km track consumed about five to six hours. He said while travelling to Booni on Nov 16 he was pleasantly surprised that the uneven road had been paved by the volunteers in different villages making the travel smooth. Even, he said, boulders and dirt brought down by flash floods were being removed from the road passing through streams in each and every village.
He said though the repair of the road from Khotanlasht downward was yet to start, the area had the distinction of voluntary services. He said when the jeep-able road from Parwak to Mastuj was left incomplete many decades ago the people of the area under the leadership of Shahzada Khuswaqtul Mulk (late) came forward and constructed it on a self-help basis in the winter season.
In the meanwhile, the C&W department has also mobilized its machinery at Parwak for the repair of the road in anticipation of the congregation of the Ismaili community, he added.
Mr Aseer said the Sunni community of upper Chitral was also extending all-out support to welcome the spiritual leader of the Ismaili community. The Aga Khan last visited Chitral in the year 2004.
Meanwhile, ChitralToday correspondent Abdul Nasir Khan reported from Zupu and Lasht that the local people there were also repairing the road in their villages.They regretted that the C&W department ignored the repair of the road for years.They said that now when the road was being repaired on a self-help basis the department should wake from its deep slumber and carry out its maintenance regularly to facilitate the commuters of the remote area.