Traveling on a long route with better facilities and safety is one of the blessings of Allah. But when the journey is full of risk in uncomfortable environment, it seems a never ending curse.
In the season of spring leaving Chitral and its natural beauty is indeed not an easy decision for the people who are travelling towards major cities due to different reasons. In that painful condition the addition of uneasy travelling facilities make their situation more critical.
My recent journey from Chitral to Islamabad through a coaster was extremely hard application. It was not only for me for the rest of the passengers too in that coaster due to misbehaviour of the driver and conductor.
It is clear that the coaster/bus of long route has its initial starting and ending point where the passengers are required to buy tickets. After leaving the boundary of Chitral their cards are also checked to make the journey safe by identifying unknown persons.
It was Upper Dir from where the coaster started pick and drop service at every local stop till it reached Rawalpindi. In the long route stopping after every 10 to 20 mins not only increasing the route but also creating trouble for the passengers.
No doubt the people of Chitral are humble and peaceful but to exploit their calmness is disgusting and against humanity. The passengers including me repeatedly requested the driver to avoid picking local passenger at every stop but he didn’t even bothered to listen
It is highly risk and against the security measurements to stop for unknown local passengers on the route. There could be incidents due to such irresponsibilities. What if few people enter and hijack the coaster? What if any of the local passenger enter and attack someone? What if someone use the safety of long route coaster and enter other city without registration? There could be many other reasons, we should halt it as early as possible.
We know that smoking is not allowed in the bus or any other public transport but the conductor even violated that forbidden action too.
The passengers should raise their voice for their rights and bring into the notice of other office holders. It is humble request to all stakeholders and other management working in Chitral to ensure the safe travel of people and take action against such illicit procedures.
(The author is based in Islamabad and can be reached at firstname.lastname@example.org).