CHITRAL: The intra-district transportation and delivery of mails by Pakistan Post has been badly affected due to shortage of staff as seven mail runners appointed in Chitral have been deputed in Buner, Swat, Dir and Malakand for last two years.
A source in Pakistan Post said the issue cropped up when seven non-local persons were recruited against the posts of mail runners (BPS-2) two years ago which had fallen vacant upon retirement of the occupants.
He said 13 posts of mail runners were advertised in 2017 for Chitral and seven non-local persons were selected though a large number of locals had applied.
He added all the seven persons were posted in Buner, Upper and Lower Dir, Swat and Malakand though the posts were specific for Khot-Shagram, Harchin-Sor Laspur, Rayeen-Shagram, Chitral-Shoghor, Istaru-Rayeen and Booni.
The source said a mail runner acted like an artery, mobilising the mail from one place to another and timely delivery of mail greatly depended on his efficient working.
Another official said being low-paid, a mail runner must be local while in the recent past the selection of person from the relevant union council had been practiced which worked well. How a man from Buner, Bajaur, Swat or Dir can discharge his duties in far-flung villages of Chitral with a meager salary.
He said the mailing system would collapse any time if he left for his home district on leave.
A local businessman, Fakhre Alam, said the business class was also affected due to collapse of postal system in Chitral as it took many weeks for delivery of parcels from one village to another.
When contacted, Postmaster General of Pakistan Post, Khyber Pakhtunkhwa, Zaheerullah Khan, said he was not aware of the issue as the appointments had been made before his posting.
Defending the appointment of non-local persons as mail runners he said the competent authority could appoint any person from the division.