GOC Malakand Division says event to put positive impact on tourism
DIR: After heavy snowfall in the last few days, over 50 jeeps took on the curvy and treacherous roads in the second ‘Lowari snow jeep rally’ on Sunday and the drivers exhibited their skills in Lowari Pass.
Syed Azaz Shah of the Islamabad 4x4 Jeep Club won the 37 kilometre race while Taimur Ali of the Frontier 4x4 Jeep Club Peshawar became runner-up in the competition.
Five jeep clubs namely Frontier 4x4 Jeep Club, Islamabad 4x4 Jeep Club, Main Machine 4x4 Club Lahore, Chitral 4x4 Jeep Club and Afford & Adventure 4x4 Jeep Club Peshawar participated in the rally.
The rally attracted a good number of people who had to trudge through snow on foot to reach Qulandi as private cars were not allowed to go to the area. The race started from Qulandi area in Upper Dir and the jeepers passed through Lowari Tunnel and returned to Qulandi in Dir. The Dir-Chitral road received heavy snowfall on Saturday.
The road was closed due to heavy snowfall and bulldozers from the Pakistan Army Corps of Engineers cleared the unpaved track of snow to make it usable for the jeepers.
The rally presented a spectacular view as jeeps raced on the track nestled in lofty snow-clad mountains. The jeep rally has become an yearly event as this was the second consecutive year the snow jeep rally was organised.
General Officer Commanding (GOC), Malakand Division, Major General Ali Amir Awan said the jeep rally competition would be a yearly feature now and would be held with more fanfare the next year.
The GOC said the rally would have positive impact on the local tourism.He said the holding of the jeep rally became possible due to the successful military operation, Zarb-e-Azb that was carried out in North Waziristan. He said militants had infested this region and organising such activities was impossible.
He said the local population must be appreciated for making the jeep rally successful.He said Dir-Chitral road, which remains closed due to heavy snowfall, would be kept open around the year to facilitate Chitralis.
Other activities such as local and Pashtun dances were also held to add colour to the rally.A spectacular performance of Khattak Dance was presented to warm the chill-frozen participants and crowd.
Kalash Dance was also exhibited by the band of the Frontier Corps.The GOC gave away trophies and cash prizes of Rs50,000, Rs30,000 and Rs20,000 to the winner, runner-up and third position-holder, respectively.
Minister for Local Government and—- Inayatullah, former federal minister Najmuddin Khan, District Nazim Sahibzada Fasihullah, Deputy Commissioner Muhammad Usman Mehsud, MNA Sahibzada Tariqullah and Tehsil Nazim Mir Makhzanuddin were also present on the occasion.