De-politicising the Lowari tunnel


Chitral — Probably one of the most petty issues in the world to have been unduly politicized so heavily is the Lowari tunnel project. If the efforts made and energy consumed in giving political statements about the tunnel were converted into joules (measurement of work), the tunnel would have long been constructed with these joules alone.

No body should be allowed to use the name of Lowari tunnel for political purposes. If Ataliq Jafar Ali Shah MNA had kept demanding and passed a unanimous resolution in National Assembly for construction of the tunnel, it was his moral duty and he carried it out. If PM Zulfiqar Ali Bhutto responded to the National Assembly resolution and ordered work to commence on the tunnel it was again his moral duty to honour the NA resolution and he honoured it, (although the work was halted during last days of his own very tenure). If President Pervez Musharraf ordered the re-commencement of work on the tunnel, he did well to do the needful which had been ignored in the time in between and deserves a thanks for it and that’s all. No body becomes ‘Mohsin e Chitral’ by building the tunnel or inaugurating it. These are all normal procedures which were ignored for a long time. Those who did their moral duty deserve thanks, at best.

The Lowari tunnel should be opened to traffic in a quiet and somber fashion. No fanfare or any inauguration is needed.  The Japanese built a bridge on Chitral river near Chitral Chowni. No body knew when they started and when they finished. One fine day (within two months) traffic was plying on it. When the responsible Japanese engineers were told to hold an inauguration ceremony, they rejected the idea by remarking “what is that?”. Isn’t the flow of traffic on the bridge an inauguration itself. Lowari tunnel should also be opened for traffic one day, preferably this year, and there should be no sign board of any one’s name on it, nor any formal ceremony, as we have played with it for enough .– CN report, 12 Sep 2016


  1. I suggest we request the Japanese to take over and complete the tunnel for us, otherwise the NHA in connivance with the Koreans will keep on postponing it as they have got used to doing so and no body challenges them.