Chitral News Briefs

Lowari pass road opens for small vehicles: Lowari top road has been opened for small vehicles it was unofficially learnt here. Official announcement is yet to be made .. BH Azad, 27 Mar 2017
Sajidullah elected District Bar President: Sajidullah Advocate was elected President District Bar for the year after he beat Niaz A Niazi Advocate by 26 votes to 22. Both the victor and the runner up belong to PML(N)
Similarly Intezar Ali Khan Advocate was elected president of the Booni Bar Association and Imtiaz Jan Advocate was elected president Drosh Bar Association…. CN report, 25 Mar 2017
Bureaucrats promoted/posted in Chitral:
Abdul Akram has been posted as Assistant Commissioner Chitral, while Mazhar Ali Shah has been posted as District Monitoring Officer in IPU Chitral. Both officials have moved on to senior positions from their incumbent slots. . .. CN report, 16 Mar 2017
Golen mini electric power reaches grid station: After a long delay on one pretext or the other, the completed 2 mw pwer station has started to supply power to the judilasht grid station. It is expected that soon the facility would be available to the consumers of Chitral town.-– CN report, 04 Mar 2017
Seven die as Snow slide hits SAMBU workshop: Seven persons dies after snow slide fell on the auto maintenance workshop of SAMBU company which is making the Lowari tunnel — details in Urdu
Seminar on Chitral’s role in CPEC to be held: A seminar on ‘Chitral’s role in CPEC’ would be held next month in Chitral to sensitise the stakeholders in the hydropower generation. This was stated by MNA Shahzada Iftikharuddin  — CN report, 19 Feb 2017
Hayat Shah appointed AC Mastuj: Muhammad Hayat Shah, a PMS officer belonging to Chitral has been appointed Assistant Commissioner Mastuj. This was disclosed in a facebook update by acting AC Booni. — CN report, 10 Feb 2017
Tunnel to be available on Friday 10 Feb: Over risding an earlier ntification of tunnel opening on Wednesday 08 Feb, an ew notification from NHA says Tunnel will now be available on Friday 10 Feb, due to fresh snow slide  .. CN report, 07 Feb 2018.
Abdul Latif appointed president PTI Chitral: Abdul Latif, Member District Council and former president PTI has been appointed president PTI Chitral district according to a notification by the party regional president. — CN report, 03 Feb 2017.
Mazhar Ali Shah appointed Actg AC Mastuj: Syed Mazhar Ali Shah sitting AAC (revenue) Chitral has been appointed as AC Mastuj till further orders, according to a notification by DC Chitral. — CN report, 03 Feb 2017
Golen electricity starts winking at Chitral town: The much awaited and much dramatised electricity supply from Golen mini power plant has started its debut in Chitral town since last night to the glee of the townites. However the power is an on and off exercise so far reminding Chitralis that they are not out of misery as yet. — CN report, 29 Jan 2017
Golen electricity to reach town by 10 Feb: Two Mw Electricity from Golen mini hydropower plant will reach town for users by 10 Feb it was reliably learnt. The power plant has started producing electricity but sorting out distribution process and connecting it to Judilasht grid station is yet to be done. — CN report, 25 Jan 2017
Fire damages equipment in Children hospital: Fire damaged the electricity generator and X-ray machine in the operation theater of the DHQ Children hospital Chitral. However the fire was put out by the fire tenders before gutting the building. — BH Azad, 24 Jan 2017
Fire guts shops in Ayun bazar: Seven shops were gutted and loss of Rs four million was reported when a bakery in Ayun Bazar caught fire due to short circuit and engulfed nearby shops putting down seven shops before the local people and policemen put out the fire with buckets.— CN report, 23 Jan 2017.
Mir Gulab Shah of Reshun has passed away: Mir Gulab Shah of Reshun has passed away at age 76. He was father of Dr Shahzad Hussain, Salahuddin, Mir Subhan and father-in-law of Dr Qayyum and Israr Ahmed. — CN report, 21 Jan 2017
‘All Parties’ threaten Long March on non implementation of new tunnel schedule: An All parties meeting chaired by JI Ameer Molana Jamshed and including PMLN president Saeed Ahmad and others threatened to launch a long march protest if the twice a week tunnel opening schedule announced by Ameer Muqam is not implemented immediately. — CN report, 11 Jan 2017
Former MNA speaks for Chitralis on tunnel problem: Former MNA Abdul Akbar Chitrali held a press conference in Peshawar demanding two days a week opening of tunnel instead of the present one day per week. He is the only one amongst the sitting or ex parliamentarians to have spoken on the lowari tunnel schedule crisis. — CN report, 08 Jan 2017
Three bridges to be built with Japanese Aid: Three steel bridges will be buit at Orghoch, Gankorini Singoor and Nishkoo with the help of the Japanese Government aid. This was stated by the District Nazim’s office — BH Azad, 05 Jan 2017
Press club cabinet retained for next year: The Chitral Press Club cabinet under the presidentship of Zahiruddin has been retained for next year without any formal elections — BH Azad, 31 Dec 2016
Encroachment in Chitral bazar restarts: Some shopkeepers have again started encroaching upon the space in front of their shops after the death of Deputy Commissioner Osama Warraich who had cleared the encroachments with an iron hand. — Muhkamuddin, 30 Dec 2017.
PTI workers meet, demand organisation: PTI workers met at the residence of senior leader Rehmat Ghazi. The workers demanded the announcement of office bearers of the party at district level and vowed to make PTI indomitable for the next general elections. Those who spoke included, Rehmat Ghazi, Abdul Latif, Muhammad Yaqub, Allaudin Urfi, Abdul Majid, and others.— BH Azad, 27 Dec 2016.
Abducted new born baby recovered: Two women have been taken into custody on charges of abducting a new born baby from District Childrens hospital Chitral. The baby has been recovered from them. .. GH Farooqi, 27 Dec 2016
Unusual dry weather scares Chitralis: The spate of dry weather prevailing all over the country has now started scaring Chitralis, who fear absence of snowfall would mean a summer devoid of greenery on the hills and natural water springs. Prayers for rainfall have been going on for quite sometime without any result so far…CN report, 26 Dec 2016
Chitral’s Christian community celebrates Christmas: Chitral’s small minority Christian community, mostly sanitary workers located around the scouts establishment in Chitral town, observed Christmas by observing religious rituals and offering prayers for the solidarity and stability of the country. — BH Azad,, 2016
Chitrali girls perform well in 2016: Chitrali girls excelled in different extracurricular activities in 2016. Those prominent were Madiha Qazi of Ayun (debating), Atika of Chitral (debating) Shehnila of Mastuj (tilawat), safia of brenis (naat),. Also performing well were schools of Shiaqotek and Drosh in Milli naghma category. .. BH Azad, 24 Dec 2016
Golen mini power only for town: Members of power cozmittee under chairman Hayatullah Khan after a meeting said the 2 MW Golen mini power project will only power the Chitral town as was originally envisaged. They said no mischief in this respect by any other area people will not be tolerated .. Muhkamuddin,23 Dec 2016.
JI protests in favour of Burmese Muslims: Jamat Islami Chitral under Amir Molana Jamshed hed a protest meeting at PIA chowk Chitral in support of Rohinya Muslims of Mayanmar, whom they said were being bruitalised and except for Malaysia and Turkey no Muslim country was speaking for them .. Muhkamuddin, 23 Dec 2016
Shahab Hamid Yousafzai new DC Chitral: The provincial govt has appointed Shahab Hamid Yousafzai as the new Deputy Commissioner Chitral in place of late Osama Ahmad Warraich who died in an air crash recently. He is presently posted as ADC Buner .. CN report, 22 Dec 2016.

Two more Utility stores opened in district: Two more utility stores were opened at Bumburet and Kuragh, while another two would be opened at Shoghore and Madak next month. The opening ceremony was presided over by MNA Shahzada Iftikharuddin. — GH Farooqi, 20 Dec 2016.
ADC Abdul Ghaffar to act as DC Chitral: Additional Deputy Commissioner Abdul Ghaffar Khan has been appointed by the provincial govt to look after the portfolio of DC Chitral till further orders. The slot fell vacant after the demise of sitting DC Osama Ahmad Warraich in the recent plane crash.— BH Azad, 20 Dec 2016
Malik Riaz to help crash affected Hasina Gul:  Malik Riaz of Behria town has announced to provide a 10 Marla house to Hasina Gul a 14 year old who was left behind after her complete family of six perished in the ATR crash. He also pledged to help the child with her financial requirements — BH Azad, 19 Dec 2016
All crash victims bodies reach Chitral:  The 10 day torturous wait for kith and kin of victims of the PIA crash culminated in the bodies reaching Chitral and being laid to rest in ancestral areas. Amongst those laid to rest included the collective burial of six members of a family of Garam Chashma — 18 Dec 2016
PIA grounds ATRs for airworthiness check: On instructions from the CAA, the PIA has grounded it’s all ten ATR aircraft for a thorough checking. This is because of the PK661 crash and an ATR catching fire on takeoff in Multan.— CN report,11 Dec 2016
Lowari pass road opened:
Lowari pass road was reopened for vehicular traffic Friday night 2400 hrs on the special instruction of GOC Swat Maj Gen Fazal Ghafoor— CN report, 11 Dec 2016
Obituary, Dr Salahuddin passes away: Dr Shahzada Salahuddin of Jinjiret Koh passed away in Peshawar. He was suffering from Kidney ailment. He was acting Manager AKHSP Chitral. He was the son of Begum Shahzada Suleman and brother of ex NA candidate Shahzada Muhaiuddin.— CN report, 11 Dec 2016

Good news for those wanting to live on and on

None of us are getting any younger, but now a pill that reverses ageing could be on the shelves as soon as 2020 as researchers make a ‘revolutionary’ step forward in anti-ageing technology.

The revolutionary drug has caught the attention of NASA as they hope to defend Mars-bound astronauts against the effects of radiation.

After successfully being used on mice the researchers believe it could be tested on humans within six months.


All cells in the human body have an innate capability to repair DNA damage, but this ability to do so declines as we age, meaning we become more susceptible to dangerous mutations that cause disease.

But the team at the University of New South Wales has identified a critical step in the molecular process and a key metabolite, NAD+, which has a central role as a regulator in protein-to-protein interactions that control repair to our DNA.

Treating mice with a NAD+ booster called NMN improved their cell’s ability to repair DNA damage caused by radiation exposure or old age in just one week of treatment.

Lead scientist Professor David Sinclair said: “This is the closest we are to a safe and effective anti-ageing drug that’s perhaps only three to five years away from being on the market if the trials go well.

“The cells of the old mice were indistinguishable from the young mice, after just one week of treatment.”

NASA are interested in this development because of it’s potential in protecting astronauts against radiation. Even on short missions, astronauts experience accelerated ageing from cosmic radiation, suffering from muscle weakness, memory loss and other symptoms when they return.

On a trip to Mars, the situation would be far worse, as 5% of the astronauts’ cells would die and their chances of cancer would approach 100%.

Cosmic radiation is not only an issue for astronauts. We’re all exposed to it when we fly. It is estimated that a London-Singapore-Melbourne flight has roughly the radiation equivalent to a chest X-ray.
.. Source


Urdu News اردو خبریں

Time for insaf welfare

Garm Chashma Diary
.. by Islamuddin

           There has been all round institutional deterioration in Pakistan. As hope against hope would have it people look up to the army and the judiciary to make a difference in the otherwise dismal situation. According to Hazrat Ali (RA) an infidel society dispensing justice may survive but not an unjust Muslim society. With the restoration of judiciary in 2008 hope was rekindled that henceforth justice would be dispensed by the liberated judiciary. The judicial activism that followed did create some optimism but now seen at hindsight it appears to have been geared to power play and not public justice. Judicial procedures are still so cumbersome and dilatory that securing justice especially in the lower judiciary remains a Herculean task. The problem is further compounded by the lawyer’s community which is bent upon hijacking the entire process. This lethal combination is working at cross purposes with the objective of ensuring a just society.

            In 2010 Chitral faced the worst floods of its history. Nullahs and riverbeds were heavily silted. Unless this debris is removed, deadlier floods are inevitable. Frantic pleas were made to the Government and its disaster management outfits to dredge the silted nullahs and riverbeds making them wide and deep enough to allow flood water to pass without overflow. As expected the Government did not respond to these out cries but NGOs like AKDN and SRSP positively responded to these pleas; carried out surveys and provided funds to secure most vulnerable areas from future floods. One such area is the 1000 long stretch of river Lotkuh from THQ hospital to Grain Godown. This riverbed had to be dredged to secure Government road, adjacent building on one side and three villages (Izh, Gajal Bala and Gajal Payeen) on the other side. Both AKPBS and SRSP funded the project to be executed by the Gajal Village Organization.

              Work on the project began in December 2016. By the time 30 % work had been completed one Ahmedyar Khan from Cheerwill village got it stayed to avenge his defeat in a court case where his attempts to illegally occupy the riverbed was challenged by the villagers of Gajal who contended that under KP Notification of 1975 riverbeds are state property. He lost all appeals and presently this case is pending in Peshawar High Court in revision. The honorable Chief Justice has ordered to dispose of the case at the earliest as a human rights case. It was to avenge for his loss that Ahmedyar chose to stay the project and allow the village to be flooded in view of the record snowfall of this year more devastating floods are likely. Fortunately the Civil Judge vacated the stay in a very short time but before work could be restarted another stay order from the Sessions Judge was obtained. Two months have elapsed but this stay order holds the ground. First the judge was away and now by changing lawyers Ahmedyar is abusing the process. New date to vacate the stay is set for April 26 and by that time the river would be in high floods due to melting of snow and donors would back out leaving the three villages at the mercy of floods. As a result more than 60 households face imminent displacement. The irony is that the law does not allow stay orders for a long time which would negate the element of justice at the end of the day and this is happening in most cases due to the negative role of lawyers. Politicians survive in official positions hiding behind stay orders and malicious litigants get scot free after damaging innocent public.

              Another example of official apathy is writ large on the Chitral-Garam Chashma road which waits to be flooded this summer. Funds are being wasted in futile repairs which do not last for a day. Instead of dredging the river course and allow peak flood water pass, alternate temporary routes are carved. Because of silting the river courses are completely chocked and riverbeds have been encroached. The Government which was supposed to regulate use of riverbeds cannot be seen anywhere. If this process is allowed to continue floods would freely flow into populated areas, the riverbeds having been fully chocked or encroached upon. I know this piece would also fall on deaf ears but it is my catharsis to give vent to my frustration at the official apathy. The title of this piece “Insaf Welfare” has been picked up from an NGO in Islamabad being run by Dr.Aslam Khaki who believes that justice also needs welfare. Without alert citizenry and public pressure justice would remain hostage in the hands of the mafias, powerful politicians and the rich who can afford good lawyers and buy justice. The people of Chitral especially of Lotkuh have to rise above personal interests and force their leaders to first restore the road infrastructure and carry out dredging of chocked nullahs and riverbeds to protect themselves from floods which would become endemic  given the fallouts of global warming. .. Islamuddin, Chitral 23 mar 2017

The English and Dutch are really Chitralis ?

Chamber of Commerce discuss post CPEC strategy (Urdu)

چترال (محکم الدین) چترال چیمبر آف کامرس اینڈ انڈسٹری کے زیراہتمام چترال کے تمام بینکرز کا غیر معمولی اجلاس ایک مقامی ہوٹل میں منعقد ہو ا ۔ اجلاس کا مقصد چترال اور خطے میں سی پیک کی وجہ سے مستقبل میں ہو نے والی ترقی سے فوائد حاصل کرنے کیلئے چترال کی سطح پر ایک مضبوط معاشی لائحہ عمل کی تیاری کو ممکن بنانا تھا ۔ اجلاس میں ڈسٹرکٹ اکاؤنٹ آفیسر چترال اور تمام بینکوں کے منیجرز کے علاوہ بزنس کمیونٹی کے لوگوں نے شرکت کی ۔

اس موقع پر خطاب کرتے ہوئے صدر چترال چیمبر آف کامرس اینڈ انڈسٹری سرتاج احمد خان نے کہا ۔ کہ سی پیک نے جہاں معاشی ترقی کی نئی راہیں کھول دی ہیں وہاں چترال جیسے علاقے کے لوگ اگر خود کو اس تیز رفتار معاشی ترقی سے ہم آہنگ کرکے فوائد سمیٹنے کی کوشش نہیں کریں گے ۔ تو مستقبل میں اس کے خوفناک نتائج نکل سکتے ہیں ۔ اس لئے وقت کا تقاضا ہےکہ چترال میں بزنس کمیونٹی کیلئے ایک جامع منصوبہ بندی کے تحت لائحہ عمل تیار کیا جائے ۔ چترال چیمبر گذشتہ تین چار سالوں سے اس سلسلے میں سرگرم عمل ہے اور درکار کوائف پورے کرکے چیمبر رجسٹریشن کرنے میں
کامیاب ہو چکی ہے ۔

انہوں نے کہا کہ چترال کے کاروباری شعبے کو ترقی دینے کیلئے انہوں نے وزیر اعلی خیبر پختونخوا ، وزیر انڈسٹریز کے علاوہ سٹیٹ بینک سمیت تمام بینکوں کے صوبائی اور مرکزی ذمہ داروں سے ملاقات کی ہے ۔ اور ہماری کوشش ہے ۔ کہ کاروباری افراد اور بینکوں کے تعلق کو مضبوط تر بنایا جائے ۔ انہوں نے کہا ۔ کہ ہم چترال کو ایک ایکنامک زون بنانا چاہتے ہیں ۔ اور ہماری کوشش ہوگی کہ ارندو کو ڈرائی پورٹ بنائیں ،جہاں قانونی دستاویزات کے ساتھ لوگ آمدورفت اور تجارت کرسکیں اور وسطی ایشائی مملک سے روابط بھی ہمارے لئے انتہائی اہمیت کی حامل ہے ۔

سرتاج احمد خان نے کہا کہ اب کاروبار روایتی طریقے سے چلنے والا نہیں ۔ بلکہ اُ س کیلئے حقیقت پر مبنی تجارتی معلومات کا ریکارڈ ہونا ضروری ہیں ۔ انٹر نیشنل سطح پر کاروبار کیلئے ہمیں وقت کے تقاضوں کے مطابق جدید انفارمیشن ٹیکنالوجی کے ساتھ خود کو جوڑنا پڑے گا ۔ انہوں نے کہا ۔ کہ ہمارے پاس بیش بہا قدرتی وسائل پانی ، معدنیات و جنگلات و زراعت ، افرادی قوت ، ثقافت و سیاحت اور پُر امن ماحول موجود ہیں ۔ جن سے آج تک خاطر خواہ فوائد حاصل نہیں کئے جا سکے ۔ آج اُن سے بھر پور استفادہ کرنے کا وقت آگیا ہے ۔ انہوں نے کہا ۔ کہ سمیڈا چترال میں ریجنل بزنس سنٹر قائم کرے گا ۔ جس سے کاروبار کے چھوٹے مسائل حل کرنے میں مدد ملے گی ۔ سرتاج احمد نے کہا ۔ کہ چترال کوٹیکس سے مزید 15سال کیلئے صوبائی حکومت کی طرف سے چھوٹ دی گئی ہے ۔ اس موقع پرحاضرین نے اپنے خیالات کا اظہار کرتے ہوئے کہا ۔ کہ چترال کی معاشی ترقی کیلئے یہ ضروری ہے ۔ کہ یہاں کے نوجوانوں کو کاروبار کے بارے میں تربیت دی جائے اور اُن کو کاروبار دوست بنایا جائے ۔اس سلسلے میں کامرس سے وابستہ طلبہ کی تربیت از حد ضروری ہے ۔ اجلاس میں بینکرز نے کہا ۔ کہ وہ اپنے کلائنٹس کو ہر ممکن سہولت دینے کی کوشش کر رہے ہیں ۔ تاہم بعض قانونی دستاویزات کی تیاری میں لو گوں کو مشکلات کا سامنا کرنا پڑ رہا ہے ،خصوصا قرضوں کی فراہمی میں انتقال جائداد کے سلسلے میں سٹلمنٹ کی طرف سے دستاویزات
کی تیاری بہت زیادہ وقت طلب ہے ۔

اجلاس میں کمیونٹی میں قرض معافی کے غلط تاثر زائل کرنے ، بینکوں میں لاکرز اور فارن کرنسی کاؤنٹر کے قیام ، پرائز بانڈز کی عدم دستیابی سمیت چھوٹے کاروباری افراد کیلئے قرضوں کے حصول کی راہ میں مشکلات پر تفصیل سے بات چیت کی گئی ۔ اور چیمبر نے اس حوالے سے یقین دلایا ۔ کہ ان مسائل کے حل کے سلسلے میں بالائی حکام سے بات کی جائے گی ۔ اجلاس میں بینکینگ کے حوالے سے ایک ریکمنڈیشن کمیٹی بنائی گئی ۔ جس میں انعام اللہ منیجر اسلامک بینک ، علی نواز حبیب بینک ، سردار عالم سمیٹ بینک ، امیر افضل منیجر جے ایس بینک ، سبحان الدن مائیکرو فنانس امجد علی نیشنل بینک ، آفسر علی ڈسٹرکٹ اکاؤنٹ آفیسر ، امجد احمد نیشنل بینک ، شیر حکیم انڈسٹریز ڈویلپمنٹ اور منظور احمد شامل ہیں ۔ اجلاس میں چیمبر کے چیف پیٹرن اتالیق حیدر علی شاہ ، سابق صدر حاجی محمد خان ، صدر تجار یونین چترال حبیب حسین مغل ممبر ڈسٹرکٹ کونسل رحمت الہی ،دین محمد اور محمد ناصر بھی موجود تھے۔

Health Care goes Casual

Garm Chashma Diary
 .. by Islamuddin

A piece published in this online newspaper a few months ago did prompt some action on part of AKHSP by way of appointing a gynecologist and LMO but the promised range of services in THQ Hospital Garam Chashma still remain unfulfilled. There appears to be no imagination at work to ensure efficiency and effectiveness. Instead of appointing four medical officers, one or two MOs and a medical specialist should have been preferred. Because of the non-availability of medical specialist most of the cases are referred to DHQ where these turn out to be simple ones with no complications. If the hospital was to play so safe and liberal in referrals then why should hefty entry fee is received and tests are carried out at some cost to the patients, the reports of which are retained in the hospital and the same are redone in DHQ, making health care prohibitively expensive for poor patients? This practice is the recipe to fail the partnership experiment. Moreover DHQ is over-burdened and specialists cannot see all the patients in the hospital and they are forced to visit their private clinics. This trend besides commercializing medical profession has take quality health care away from the poor. Most of the referred patients have to visit private clinics as they cannot afford to stay in town waiting for their turn in the DHQ hospital.

Few days back a student was brought to the hospital with abdominal pain. After symptomatic treatment he was discharged. The pain subsided but he did not fully recover. On the second or third visit tests were done again and the report showed some lingering infection. The doctor did ‘not take risk” and referred the patient to surgeon at the DHQ suspecting appendicitis. The surgeon carried out series of tests as the referral did not accompany previous test reports. The result was normal and the cause of pain was constipation. A single dose of medication resulted in complete recovery. According to the surgeon appendicitis cannot continue for 20 days but this simple fact was ignored by the medical officers at THQ. This entire process cost two years of academic life to the student. He missed his matriculation exam and would now wait at least for another year to pass the exam. Earlier an epilepsy patient was treated for intoxication. His medical reports available on record were not retrieved because the server was off. That patient died. He was the sole bread earner of his family. The bereaved family protested but was pacified by the community based health committee in the larger interest of the local community who had waited for so long for this hospital to become fully functional thanks to the intervention of His Highness. Once bitten twice shy the high ups of AKHSP failed to learn their lessons. If it does not have 24 hour retrieval facility and cannot send the reports with referral slips then it should allow patients to maintain their medical reports to enable them to try other avenue instead of becoming hostage to THQ and in the process save some money on test duplications.

While it is conceded that the partnership hospital experiment does have opponents but the fact remains that AKHSP is doing nothing to improve the situation to silence the critics. Instead its actions or none actions continue to fuel criticism. Medical professionals are neither fully satisfied with the personnel policy nor the salary package of AKHSP. In both areas they fare poorly as compared to their Government counterparts. Recent changes and placements have further alienated medical .. Islamuddin, Chitral 21 Mar 2017.

Lowari tunnel completion poised for yet another delay!

Chitral — Prime minister Nawaz Sharif during his visit to Chitral in October 2015, announced in loud and clear words amidst thunderous applause that the Lowari tunnel would be inaugurated in December 2016 at any cost.
read details:

Then, in 2016 during his visit to Chitral he said anew that the tunnel would now be inaugurated in June 2017 and the people started clapping for this ‘good news’. His advisor Amir Muqam also reconfirmed many a times that the tunnel would definitely be inaugurated in June 2017.
read details : Delay in Lowari tunnel ill intended

Now, according to latest reports, during a function in Islamabad, Amir Muqam has given the new ‘good news’ that the tunnel would be completed this year, conveniently omitting the mention of 30 June deadline. From the adviser’s latest posture on the matter and from the pace of work inside the tunnel, it appears that the government wants to delay opening of the tunnel for reasons all know by now i.e to drag it on till near next elections.

For how long would these people make a fool of Chitralis and for how long would we Chitralis clap and applause on being made a fool of? — CN report, 21 mar 2017.

Renowned social worker Ms Maurine passes away

Renowned British social worker, environmentalist and legendary expert on the #Kalash people Ms. Maureen P. Lines passed away in Peshawar. She was 79 years old. Ms. Maureen Patricia Lines – Tamgha-e-Imtiaz (Civil) (Born: 23 Oct 1937; Died: 17 Mar 2017)
Born in 1937 in England, she was an expert on Kalash culture and writer who first came to Pakistan in 1980. She lived among the Kalasha people, learning their language and ways. Her love for them had braved all odds. She was a recipient of the Tamgha-e-Imtiaz (Pakistan’s civil medal award) for extraordinary services rendered in the preservation and promotion of Kalash culture. She studied International Affairs at the New York University (NYU) and Journalism at the New School for Social Research (NSSR) in New York.

She was earlier trained as an ambulatory emergency technician in the US and worked as a ‘barefoot doctor’ providing medicine to the Kalasha door-to-door. Deceased was the founder of Kalash Environmental Protection Society (KEPS) and the Hindu Kush Conservation Association (HKCA). She was also a columnist for DAWN, and The Friday Times, and author of many books: ‘Beyond the North-West Frontier’, ‘A Guide to the Kalash People’, ‘The Kalasha of the Hindu Kush’ etc. etc. The last named publication is a pictorial coffee-table book that captures rare glimpses of everyday life of the Kalasha who are fighting for their cultural survival amid growing commercialisation and modernity as the dwellers of the last mountain enclave of pagan tribespeople in this remotest part of Pakistan.

Ms Maureen Lines was an extraordinary and inspirational figure who had devoted her entire life to the service of others. She had recently adopted Kalash orphan children whom she desired to educate in schools in Peshawar. Many of her ongoing projects and beneficiaries of her welfare schemes face an uncertain future after her passing.

In the tributary words of one of her friends Mr. Ejaz Rahim, “She was a great human being. She knew how to fight for the under-privileged and died in harness. She gave all her energy and resources to those she cared for. I count her among the heroes of this land. I last saw her some months ago when I visited her to inquire about her health. The body was indeed failing but her spirit was as bright as ever. The news of her passing has saddened me, although I believe she has gone to a well-deserved rest.” .. Source : Facebook – Photo by Ali Jan, 18 Mar 2017Also read: Barefoot doctor of Kalasha breathes her last