Chitral — The Lowari pass has always been a cause of problem for Chitralis. Hundreds of people have lost their lives to avalanches while trying to cross it in the past. Now that the tunnel is being constructed it has become another world record holder as the longest unfinished tunnel (in terms of time taken to build it).
The major issue in Chitral these days is the schedule of the tunnel opening per week. Every body is discussing it, in the shops, in the kotakay, in private sittings, in public gatherings, in ‘All parties’ meetings, this is the major issue and it seems Chitralis have no other issue but this.
The situation in Chitral today resembles that of Baghdad in 1258, when Halaku Khan sent a spy to report the situation there so that he could assess the prospects of a victory in case of invading it. The spy came back and reported that the main issue going on in Baghdad was whether an owl was kosher (halal) or not. The Khalifa had set up special committees of religious scholars and learned people to debate it and everywhere the discussion was about this one issue. On hearing this, Halakoo ordered his troops to move towards Baghdad immediately without wasting time, and the rest is History.
In Chitral, the main issue today is who should get the credit for opening the tunnel two days a week instead of one. First it was about who announced it. Now it is about who made the notification be issued by NHA. What is this? What a shame! What an issue! If there is no Halaku today, there are personifications of Halaku in their own right and stead, and doing just the same in the ways of the modern times. We blame the Halakus of today, but ourselves behave like the Baghdadians of 1258. — CN report, 14 Jan 2017