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Showing posts with label Chitral. Show all posts
Showing posts with label Chitral. Show all posts

Monday, July 22, 2019

One Woman’s Small Step for Chitral Marks a Giant Leap for Pakistan in Football [via Arab News]

One Woman’s Small Step for Chitral Marks a Giant Leap for Pakistan in Football [via Arab News]

One Woman’s Small Step for Chitral Marks a Giant Leap for Pakistan in Football [via Arab News]


ISLAMABAD: Twenty two-year-old Karishma Ali is used to a lot of firsts.

She was the first girl from her hometown of lower Chitral to represent Pakistan in football at both the national and international levels.

She took part in the Jubilee Games in Dubai, UAE three years ago and also represented Pakistan’s women football team in the Australian Football International (AFL) Cup.

Ali is also the first from Chitral to be featured on Forbes Asia’s 30 under 30 list.

Now, she has her eyes set on realizing her dream of seeing more girls participating in sports. For this purpose, she established the Chitral Women’s Sport Club (CWSC), the region’s first.

She says it all began when she kicked her first football at the age of nine. “I didn’t properly play football, but I became a football lover back then when I was a little kid,” Ali told Arab News. “I remember watching the World Cup with my father in 2006 and fell in love with the game.”

Ali’s decision to foray into sports was supported by her family, particularly her father, who always pushed her to excel in the game.

In Pakistan, women’s participation in sports is abysmal, mostly due to cultural restraints, patriarchal and conservative attitude, and a lack of infrastructure. For her part, Ali says she factored in all these conditions before taking the leap.

“In Chitral, there was no facility and there is still no facility for girls — which is why I am working on it,” Ali told Arab News, adding that she “never had the opportunities to play football.”

“The only time I would get to play football in Chitral was when I would go on a picnic with my father or rarely with my classmates. The boys would be playing, I would come and kick, they would stare at me, laugh and bully me but I never cared — I still went for it,” she said.

And while she had the backing of her family – and the support of coaches and mentors after moving to Islamabad at the age of 13, leading to her eventual placement on the national team – Ali says that, initially at least, the community was not receptive to the idea of girls playing sports.

“A lot of people do not appreciate the inclusion of girls in sports, so for me I thought starting [this club] and making it for girls under the age of 16 would be crucial,” she said, adding that the sports club “is not just about sports or football.”

“We are trying to teach girls about their rights, we are trying to educate them about health,” she said.

Last year, the CWSC hosted a seven-day camp for 70 girls from across Chitral and surroundings villages, resulting in the first all-women football tournament in the area.

Ali’s aim is to not just encourage athleticism, competition and confidence among young girls, but to also demonstrate how the sport can empower women and be a source of pride for the country.

“Last year [starting out] was very hard, when I told people I wanted to do this in Chitral, people thought I was crazy,” she said. “People never appreciated that I was playing sports to begin with, so to want to invite others in… I was bullied and threatened.”

However, Ali found strength in her usual source – her father. “[He] said to me: ‘You have taken this step for so many girls and, now, if you give up, that means the end of sports for every other girl back home. You decide whether you can be brave and keep fighting or people will forget you. Remember, if you stand up people will remember you, people will get inspired and get their girls involved’,” she said.

And they did.

From among the 70 girls who enrolled in the club, several live in villages and would commute for three to four hours every day just to participate.
“They would not miss the training session even for a single day and would wake up at 6am to reach the ground, play sports and go back,” Ali said of the girls, teeming with pride.

This year, Ali’s camp hosted nearly 200 girls, more than doubling last year’s attendance.

For her party, Ali, who has earned herself the “Pride of Pakistan” award that recognizes tremendous contribution made by Pakistanis, wants the same for other girls, too.

“I remember when I was a kid watching the World Cup with my cousin, I’d told him I want to play for the national team, but there was no such concept of girls playing football. When I got to the national team I sank into this confidence,” she said.

“I think of the little girl back in the village and myself in the national uniform and that fills me with happiness. We have amazing people, we have girls who want to play sports and for Pakistan and I want to be a good ambassador for them,” she said.

Published on Arab News, 10 July 2019




Sunday, July 21, 2019

EEEI, #Chitral concludes ECD Female Teacher Training Program

EEEI, #Chitral concludes ECD Female Teacher Training Program

EEEI, #Chitral concludes ECD Female Teacher Training Program


By Gul Hamaad Farooqi

CHITRAL: A private education institute marked the successful completion of an Intensive Early Childhood Development (ECD) Program organized at Seen Lasht, Chitral.

Chitral participants of ECD reeving certificates after completing two weeks training. Photos by Gul Hamaad faroqui


15 women teachers participated in the 2 week program consisting of 125 hours and received hands on training in how to engage 3-5 year old children in an active learning environment so as to enhance their social, physical, emotional, cognitive, creative and moral development. These participates, belonging to various villages in Chitral were involved in learning about the brain, child development, preparing effective teaching aids, learning poems and stories, creative and artistic activities, etc. – all in an effort to make learning interesting and engaging for children. They presented practical lessons whereby helping each other to enhance their capacities.

The trainee teachers eagerly participated in the program with enthusiasm and were actively engaged. The visiting Consultant from Toronto, Canada, Ms. Yasmin Khan who travelled to Chitral to share best practices was very impressed by the eagerness and commitment of the participants. A local trainer with ECD experience, the Principal of the EES, Mrs. Gul Hawa was part of the faculty and local visiting ECD trainers, Ms. Rashida Rahim Baig and Ms. Farhan Mussarat Khan were invited to share their expertise.

According to the Director of EEEI,  Zohran Shah, this ECD training program, is part of a Five Year Strategic Plan of EEEI which aims to provide quality Early Childhood Education at the village level through its PARVARISH Program. The PARVARISH program will also endeavor to empower educated women in the villages to use their education for gainful employment while serving their own communities. 6 pilot ECD canters will be set up this year by the graduating teachers with management support from EEEI and financial provision from Dr. Mir Baiz Khan.






France provides €50.2m for rehabilitation of #Chitral, #Dargai hydro-power plants

France provides €50.2m for rehabilitation of #Chitral, #Dargai hydro-power plants

France provides €50.2m for rehabilitation of #Chitral, #Dargai hydro-power plants


ISLAMABAD: The government of France has provided a soft loan of €50 million (Rs9 billion) and a grant of €0.2 million (Rs36 million) for the rehabilitation of Chitral and Dargai hydropower plants.

Secretary of Economic Affairs Division (EAD) Noor Ahmed, French Ambassador Marc Baréty and Country Director of the French Agency for Development (AFD) Jacky Amprou signed the Credit Facility Agreement worth €50 million and the Grant Agreement worth €0.2 million.

A statement released by the French Embassy said that the funding will allow the modernisation of the two hydropower plants as well as the upgrading of their generation capacity from 20MW to 22MW for Dargai HPP and from 1MW to 5 MW for Chitral HPP.

The main objective of the project is to provide adequate facilities for the generation, transmission, and distribution of energy to meet current and future needs of Chitral and Malakand regions. It will also result in industrial, agricultural and economic development of the regions.

France, through the French Agency for Development, is providing technical and financial support in the energy and urban development sectors of Pakistan, where €610 million financial support has been committed since 2016.




Friday, July 19, 2019

Pakistan’s #Kalash minority group faces influx of rowdy tourists

Pakistan’s #Kalash minority group faces influx of rowdy tourists

Pakistan’s #Kalash minority group faces influx of rowdy tourists


In a remote valley in Pakistan, dozens of Kalash minority women dance to celebrate spring’s arrival. But, as a gaggle of men scramble to catch them on camera, the community warns an influx of domestic tourists is threatening their unique traditions.

Every year the Kalash – a group of not more than 4,000 people confined to a handful of villages in the north – greet the new season with animal sacrifices, baptisms, and weddings at a festival known as Joshi.

As celebrations kick off, tourists with cameras and phones jostle to get close to Kalash women, whose vibrant clothing and headdresses contrast starkly with the more modest attire worn by many in the conservative Islamic republic.

“Some people were using their cameras as if they were in a zoo,” said local tourist guide Iqbal Shah.


Known for their pale skin and light-coloured eyes, the Kalash have long claimed ancestral links to Alexander the Great’s army – who conquered the region in the fourth century BC.

They worship many gods, while drinking alcohol is a tradition and marriages of choice are the norm – unlike in the rest of Pakistan where unions are often arranged.

However, the community is far from a liberal beacon. Members of the community often wed in their teens, with women poorly educated and expected to perform traditional roles in the home.

Stories about the Kalash are nonetheless frequently fabricated, and this has been amplified in recent years by the proliferation of smartphones and social media.

Defaming the community

One video viewed 1.3 million times on YouTube, proclaims the Kalash “openly have sex” with partners of their choosing “in the presence of their husbands”.

Another calls them “beautiful infidels”, saying “anyone can go and marry any girl there”.

“How could that be true?” asks Luke Rehmat, a Kalash journalist.

“People are systematically trying to defame the community. They are fabricating stories … when a tourist comes with such a mindset, he will try to experience (it).”

In the main Kalash village of Bumburate a hotel manager estimates that about 70% of Pakistani tourists visiting his establishment are young men, who often inquire about where to “find girls”.

According to the tourists who spoke to AFP – most of whom were men travelling in groups – their primary interest in exploring the Kalash Valley was to learn about a new culture.

“We want to be part of this festival but it doesn’t mean that we want to mix up with girls,” says tourist Sikander Nawaz Khan Niazi from Lahore.

But friction has been increasing in recent years. In Bumburate, posters now call on visitors to seek permission from villagers before photographing and signs warn tourists not to harass women.

“If they don’t respect us, we don’t need tourists,” says Yasir Kalash, the vice president of the local hotel association.

“If they respect … our culture and traditions, we must welcome (them).”

Regulating tourism is a cumbersome but vital task for the Kalash, with money from the industry increasingly providing an important source of revenue for the community.

The Kalash – who once inhabited a vast territory stretching from the Himalayas in Kashmir to northern Afghanistan – are now one of the smallest religious minorities in Pakistan, according to Akram Hussain, the director of a local museum.

A recent survey puts their number at just 3,872, living in three remote valleys.

“We are going to die if we are not supported,” says Hussain.

The Kalash, who once inhabited a vast territory stretching from the Himalayas in Kashmir to northern Afghanistan, are now one of the minorities in Pakistan.

Kalash traditions, Hussain argues, can be expensive. Weddings and funerals require families to kill dozens of animals for the festivities, driving them into debt, forcing them to sell off land and leave their ancestral homes.

Cases of conversions to Islam of Kalash women have also been reported, while the increase in tourism has pushed some in the community to shun traditions like Joshi, according to several residents.

Others have begun wearing veils to hide their faces from the prying eyes of outsiders.

“We don’t wear veils as it is not our custom, but some wear them because people take pictures of them from all sides and it makes them feel ashamed,” says Musarrat Ali, a high school student.

The ongoing erosion of the culture at the hands of outside forces is tragic, says Sayed Gul, an archaeologist from Bumburate.

“They don’t want to participate just because of these cameras and this insensitivity,” says Gul.

“If these things are continuously happening … maybe in a few years, there are only tourists, there are no more Kalashis to participate and dance in the festivals.” – AFP 



Wednesday, July 17, 2019

Increasing suicide incidents among girls in #Chitral - 3 girls commit suicide in Chitral this week

Increasing suicide incidents among girls in #Chitral - 3 girls commit suicide in Chitral this week

Increasing suicide incidents among girls in #Chitral - 3 girls commit suicide in Chitral this week



CHITRAL (MVT 16 July 2019 by Gul Hammad Farooqi) : In an alarming development, three more girls have committed suicide in Chitral.

Local sources said a girl ended her life by consuming poison in Shaghor area on Tuesday. Police said Shazia Bibi was heartbroken over poor marks in the recent matriculation examination. She consumed poison due to which her condition worsened. She was taken to District Headquarters Hospital, but she could not survive.

The sources said that on Saturday, a girl, Safeera Bibi from Torkhao, Wasich, also committed suicide by jumping into Chitral River. The relatives and rescue personnel continued search for the body, but it could not be recovered till filing of this report. The sources said Safeera was good in her studies and got good marks in the exam. The reason behind the suicide was ascertained. Other sources said the girl apparently had some stress-related issues.


A day earlier, another girl, Razia Bibi, from Pengaigol village of Darosh ended her life by shooting herself down with a pistol. Sources said the girl was suffering from epilepsy and she had also attempted suicide earlier.

Social circles have expressed concern over so many suicide cases in Chitral and the government’s failure to stop this trend. According to various reports, the main reasons behind the suicides during the last couple of years is competition in examinations, poverty, lack of facilities, physical disorders and sometimes forced marriages. Employment opportunities are very limited in Chitral and most of the dwellers are doing private and other odd jobs in downtown districts and other provinces to financially support their families and make a living.

District Police Officer (DPO) Mansoor Aman had opened a women reporting centre at Chitral Police Station so that women could lodge their complaints with women police officers. Female police were dedicated for the purpose to register complaints by women. But that centre could not change the situation.

There are hundreds of vacant posts of doctors, including that of psychiatrists in Chitral. People of the area have demanded the government to fill all that vacancies and appoint psychiatrists on priority basis to provide counselling, physiotherapy and other treatment facilities to patents who are suffering from stress-related illness.



Tuesday, July 16, 2019

Climate change adversely affects fresh water resources - via APP

Climate change adversely affects fresh water resources - via APP

Climate change adversely affects fresh water resources



Dr Saeed Ahmed Ali

LAHORE, Jul 16 (APP):The major sources of Pakistan’s fresh water and power generation, the mighty Indus River and other tributary rivers originated from Himalayas and Karakorum Mountain ranges are being adversely affected by rapid climate changes in the region.

Scientists and experts believe that climate change is taking place due to increasing emission of greenhouse gases, which is also one of the main reasons for global warming. It had also a direct impact on global atmospheric conditions. The changes also affect the physical conditions of heavenly glaciers, which exist on high mountains to formulate proper glacial eco-system. The other major areas which are being affected by climate changes included human health, water related infrastructure and hydropower generation.

Talking to APP, Member Punjab, Indus River System Authority (IRSA), Rao Irshad Khan said that due to increase in global warming, water vapours are generated in abundance which disturb the hydrogen-cycle of water system. The situation ultimately resulted into irregular rain patterns causing extreme weather condition and flooding in the country. He said that due to increase in temperatures, western winds and local monsoon patterns have become harmonically strong which has shifted the patterns of monsoon from Chenab River to some 100 miles away to the Indus basin region.

Rao Irshad said, “Our Northern Areas are home to 5,218 glaciers and 2,420 glacial lakes, out of which, more than 50 glaciers have potentially been categorised as dangerous”. He said that the glaciers are receding at an average 40 to 60 metres per 10 years, which has created complications for the communities residing at the up sea level, who are under the threat of glacial lake outburst floods (GLOFs). Recently, a week ago, the glacier `Azghor’ has outburst in Chitral district’s Golain region, following a huge flood inundated many villages, he added.

 International Union for Conservation of Nature (IUCN) Country Manager, Mahmood Akhtar Cheema said that temperatures in most of the mountainous areas surpass 40 degree Celsius in summer season, which is alarming. This phenomena is caused by greenhouse gases, which are multiplying in various parts of the country at a fast pace, he added.

Cheema said that the hydrologic-cycle is being disturbed by the rise in temperatures, which has had a substantial impact on the water resources availability, changes in water quality and change in the precipitation pattern. High temperatures are disturbing the summer-winter precipitation cycle, which has a direct impact on the forest and vegetation cover, which is associated with balancing of the water-cycle, he added.

The IUCN country manager said that according to a research report, an over-whelming majority, around 85 per cent of farmers, was facing fresh water impacts, caused by climatic conditions such as change in rainfall, monsoon onset and temperatures. He said this trend suggests rural areas in Pakistan have been particularly hard hit by the climate change.

Sources in the Ministry of Climate Change said that anthropogenic activity and a climate change pattern has influenced the country`s capacity for energy generation, which has led Pakistan from water-stressed to a water-scarce nation.

Keeping in view the developments in the water sector, around 142 MAF water was available in 2015-16 for agricultural use, which now has been reduced by climate change impacts, he added. He said that in spite of all the strenuous efforts, water availability is either stagnant or dwindling.

According to Global Change Impact Studies Centre (GCISC) research reports, fresh water resources are among the sectors that are most vulnerable and have potential to be strongly impacted by the changing climate issues.

The GCISC sources told APP that the incumbent government is facilitating collaboration of various local and international scientists and experts who are being engaged in research activities of water resources implications.

 Environment Protection Department Director Nasim-ur-Rehman said that the day by day increasing hot climate, changing patterns of snow melt, rise in sea level and precipitation is causing an existing social and economic pressure on natural resources. For example, poor communities residing along the delta and riversides are facing severe conditions to make their livelihoods, he added.

Nasim said that global warming and climate change issues were causing a fast glacial melting in Pakistan which could cause 60 per cent shortage of water — affecting both the energy and agriculture sectors of the country.




Chitral bound flight - 22 passengers get off Chitral-bound PIA flight over 'luggage issues'

Chitral bound flight - 22 passengers get off Chitral-bound PIA flight over 'luggage issues'

Chitral bound flight - 22 passengers get off Chitral-bound PIA flight over 'luggage issues'


RAWALPINDI: Twenty-two passengers aboard a Pakistan International Airlines (PIA) flight to Chitral refused to travel after they were not allowed to take their luggage along owing to space restraints.

The flight, PK-660, was set to take off from the New Islamabad Airport, however, passengers were informed that their luggage could not be taken along.
The national flag carrier’s staff said that the baggage would be taken to Chitral on a later flight.

Passenger mistakes exit door for toilet on PIA flight

To this, the 22 passengers protested and left the plane with only 17 others having completed the trip.

“You see, we have space constraints on these small planes as the flight operations inform us on how much weight should be taken for take-off depending on the temperature,” PIA spokesperson Mashood Tajwar told The Express Tribune.

the cabin crew had assured the passengers that the remaining luggage would be brought to their destination from another flight, he added.

“We take these steps as our first priority is the safety of our passengers,” Tajwar said.



Monday, July 15, 2019

Female dweller of #Chitral getting embroidery training at a center established by Snow Leopard Foundation (SLF)

Female dweller of #Chitral getting embroidery training at a center established by Snow Leopard Foundation (SLF)

Female dweller of #Chitral getting embroidery training at a center established by Snow Leopard Foundation (SLF)

CHITRAL: June 01, 2019 – A female dweller of Chitral getting embroidery training at a center established by Snow Leopard Foundation (SLF) with the objective of imparting skill development training as an opportunity for livelihood opportunity in remote Chitral valley.( Match the picture with the story released by APP). APP






Saturday, July 13, 2019

Heavy Flood - 158 people rescued in Golon area of Chitral following floods

Heavy Flood - 158 people rescued in Golon area of Chitral following floods

Heavy Flood - 158 people rescued in Golon area of Chitral following floods


Around 158 people have been rescued in Golon area of Chitral who were trapped there due to heavy flood

According to Rescue 1122, a medical camp had also been established in the area to provide free medical treatment to the affected people

The military’s media wing said Pakistan Army is assisting the civil administration of Chitral in carrying out rescue and relief operation in flash floods hit areas of Golon.”Affected population being heli-lifted to safer places. Tentage and rations provided. Medical teams also present,” said Inter-Services Public Relations (ISPR).The Jam Ashpar glacier had exploded on July 7, causing the glacial lake outburst flood (GLOF). The flood washed away five bridges and the Azghor Valley road.Many tourists visiting the area got stranded, including Prime Minister Imran Khan’s sister Aleema Khan, who was later rescued and moved to safety.







Thursday, July 11, 2019

Chitral ka safar.....Aam Olas: Ep # (48) : Da Chitral Safar ( Kalash Valley ) | Part 1

Chitral ka safar.....Aam Olas: Ep # (48) : Da Chitral Safar ( Kalash Valley ) | Part 1

Chitral ka safar.....Aam Olas: Ep # (48) : Da Chitral Safar ( Kalash Valley ) | Part 1

Chitral ka safar.....Aam Olas: Ep # (48) : Da Chitral Safar ( Kalash Valley ) | Part 1









Monday, July 8, 2019

Chitral district ibex, markhor  protection bodies challenge inquiry into use of funds

Chitral district ibex, markhor protection bodies challenge inquiry into use of funds

Chitral district ibex, markhor  protection bodies challenge inquiry into use of funds


PESHAWAR: Several village committees tasked with protecting markhor and ibex in Chitral district have moved the Peshawar High Court against the start of inquiry by the anti-corruption establishment into the utilisation of their share in the revenue generated by the issuance of hunting permits for the two wild species.

The petition jointly filed by a dozen of village conservation committees (VCCs) has also challenged restriction placed on them by the wildlife department for the use of their share in community development projects.

The petitioners requested the court to ask the wildlife department to comply with its two relevant notifications and allow them to use their exclusive share of 80 per cent revenue generated by hunting permits for markhor and ibex for community development.

They requested the court to declare the government’s act of limiting them to use interest on the said 80 percent revenue (share of petitioners) against the scheme of management and conservation of wildlife through VCCs.

Move high court calling ACE’s step interference in their affairs

The petitioners termed the start of inquiry by the ACE interference in administrative and financial matters of privately established VCCs.

They have requested the court to restrain the ACE from creating any hurdle in carrying out community welfare works by conducting fabricated inquiries under pretext of restricting them to utilise only interest over the capital amount.

The petition said VCCs were local non-governmental and private committees of the 12 villages of markhor and ibex conservation area of Chitral comprising more than 200 square kilometres.

It said the government had established the wildlife division in 1975 to mitigate the extinction of wild species through proper scientific management principles.

The petition said community-based wildlife conservancy programme was later introduced, while the wildlife department issued a notification on Feb 22, 1997, agreeing to pay 75 per cent share of revenue generated by hunting permits for markhor and ibex in community development projects.

It said another notification as issued on Jan 12, 2002, increasing the share from 75 per cent to 80 per cent.

The petition said VCCs had been utilising that share for community uplift programmes, including establishment of vocational centres, education, electrification, supply of LPG cylinders on concessional rates, payment to watchers, and on irrigation channels, bridges and approach roads.

It claimed that VCCs had maintained proper books of accounts since their establishment to maintain transparency.

The petition said the ACE had begun illegal and mala fide inquiry against VCCs on the pretext that as per terms of partnership with the wildlife department, the capital money of the fund would not be utilised by the committees and that only interest accruing on the deposit would be utilised.

It said the two notifications issued by the wildlife department didn’t place any restriction on the utilisation of share by VCCs.

The petition said the committees determined the priorities of their communities and worked on socioeconomic development of the people through proper internal resolution.

Published in Dawn, July 6th, 2019



12 Village Conservation Committees Chitral move court against KP govt notification

12 Village Conservation Committees Chitral move court against KP govt notification

12 Village Conservation Committees Chitral move court against KP govt notification


PESHAWAR: The 12 Village Conservation Committees from Chitral district have challenged the provincial government notification on the ban over the use of their 80 percent share in the Markhor and Ibex trophy hunting permits in the Peshawar High Court.

The Village Conservation Committees filed the petition through its presidents, seeking the judicial order to set aside the Khyber Pakhtunkhwa Anti-Corruption and Establishment Department directions on the ban over use of their 80 percent share received through trophy hunting permits for Markhor and Ibex preserved by these villages in the district.

The petition was filed through Ghufranullah Shah Advocate. Khyber Pakhtunkhwa government through Secretary Forest, Chief Conservator Wild Life Department, Director Anti-Corruption Establishment and Assistant Director Crimes, Anti-Corruption Establishment were made parties to the petition.

It was submitted that the Anti-Corruption Establishment Department had issued directions that the 12 villages could only use interest from their 80 percent shares, which is an illegal and unjustified directions on the basis of so-called and fake inquiry report.

The petitioners prayed before the high court to direct the government to act and comply with notifications issued on February 22, 1997 and January 12, 2002 to allow the village conservative committees to utilise their exclusive share of 80 percent revenue realized from issuing hunting permits for Markhor and Ibex for community development projects in reward of their exemplary role and participation in management and conservation of Wild Life over more than 200 sq KM Toshi Conservation Area, Chitral.

Hence, their impugned act to deny the same and limit the villages to utilize only interest of their share is against the scheme of management and conservation of wildlife.

Source: The News




Aged father of 5 disabled children appeal for help in #Chitral

Aged father of 5 disabled children appeal for help in #Chitral

Aged father of 5 disabled children appeal for help in #Chitral


by Gul Hammad Farooqi

CHITRAL: A 75-year-old destitute person in Chitral is living a miserable life by looking after his five disabled children for the last 40 years, but the poor family hasn’t received the help which it deserves.

The elderly person, Syed Hameed, has five children who are all disabled by birth and they cannot speak or walk. Syed Hameed lives in Ashriat Union Council of Darosh tehsil. The poor man is a widower and he also fulfils the responsibility of cooking food for his children.

Syed Hamid said while talking to  this scribe  that he used to work as a labor  when he was healthy and young, but he cannot do work in 75 years age. He said his eldest son Ahmed Hussain is 40-year-old. He said his daughter Sultan Mehal is 38-year-old, another daughter Noor Taj Mehal is 27-year-old, son Zaboor is 25 years old and youngest son Zerullah is 23 years old.

Syed Hameed said his is living a very difficult life as there is no one to support his disabled children. He said it is a matter of great disappointment for him that his family has not been included in the list of Benazir Income Support Program (BISP) beneficiaries. He said the names of Noor Taj Mehal and Sultan Mehal should have been included in the list of BISP beneficiaries. He said neither the government nor any non-governmental organisation or charity extended any kind of assistance to his family. He said his family is in dire need of help as all his children are disabled, he has no wife and it is extremely difficult for him to look after his children in the age of 75.

Syed Hameed said he worked hard to make ends meet and look after his children when he was in good health, but now he is 75-year-old and cannot do hard work to earn money. He said his family is living a very difficult life and they are in dire need of immediate help. He demanded the government and well off people to help him look after his family.

Syed Hameed can be contacted on mobile phone number: 0320-9291597.




Friday, July 5, 2019

PIA operates Additional Flight to Chitral for Shandur Festival

PIA operates Additional Flight to Chitral for Shandur Festival

PIA operates Additional Flight to Chitral for Shandur Festival


Karachi, July 04, 2019: In order to promote tourism in Pakistan, the National Flag Carrier PIA is operating an additional flight to Chitral on Friday, 5th July for the convenience of the travellers and cope with the demand of passengers visiting Shandur Polo Festival. PIA spokesman said on Thursday.

The special flight to Chitral for the Shandur Festival is in addition to its regular scheduled flights for Chitral. The festival is held annually and largely attended by tourist from Pakistan and abroad. Shandur Polo ground is considered to be one of the highest grounds in the world. The event also include folk music and dance while camping is also a main attraction for the tourists. PIA operates two flights per week from Islamabad to Chitral every Friday and Sunday. | Follow on Twitter | Facebook and visit website myvoicetv .


Tuesday, June 11, 2019

Domestic tourists threatening unique traditions: Pakistan’s #Kalash battle tourism deluge

Domestic tourists threatening unique traditions: Pakistan’s #Kalash battle tourism deluge

Domestic tourists threatening unique traditions: Pakistan’s #Kalash battle tourism deluge


Bumburate: In a remote valley in Pakistan dozens of Kalash minority women dance to celebrate spring’s arrival -- but as a gaggle of men scramble to catch them on camera, the community warns an influx of domestic tourists is threatening their unique traditions.

Every year the Kalash -- a group of less than 4,000 people confined to a handful of villages in the north -- greet the new season with animal sacrifices, baptisms, and weddings at a festival known as "Joshi".

As celebrations kick off, tourists with phones jostle to get close to Kalash women, whose vibrant clothing and headdresses contrast starkly with the more modest attire worn by many in the conservative Islamic republic.

"Some people are using their cameras as if they were in a zoo," said local tourist guide Iqbal Shah.

Known for their pale skin and light-coloured eyes, the Kalash have long claimed ancestral links to Alexander the Great’s army -- who conquered the region in the fourth century BC.

They worship many gods, drinking alcohol is a tradition and marriages of choice are the norm -- unlike in the rest of Pakistan where unions are often arranged.


However, the community is far from a liberal beacon. Members of the community often wed in their teens, with women poorly educated and expected to perform traditional roles in the home.

Stories about the Kalash are nonetheless frequently fabricated, and this has been amplified in recent years by the proliferation of smartphones and social media.

- ‘Defaming the community’ -

One video viewed 1.3 million times on YouTube, proclaims the Kalash "openly have sex" with partners of their choosing "in the presence of their husbands".

Another calls them "beautiful infidels", saying "anyone can go and marry any girl there".

"How could that be true?" asks Luke Rehmat, a Kalash journalist.

"People are systematically trying to defame the community. They are fabricating stories... when a tourist comes with such a mindset, he will try to experience [it]."

In the main Kalash village of Bumburate a hotel manager estimates that about 70 percent of Pakistani tourists visiting his establishment are young men, who often inquire about where to "find girls".


According to tourists who spoke to AFP -- most of whom were men travelling in groups -- their primary interest in exploring the Kalash Valley was to learn about a new culture.

"We want to be part of this festival but it doesn’t mean that we want to mix up with girls," says tourist Sikander Nawaz Khan Niazi from Lahore.

But friction has been increasing in recent years.

In Bumburate, posters now call on visitors to seek permission from villagers before photographing and signs warn tourists not to harass women.

"If they don’t respect us, we don’t need tourists," says Yasir Kalash, the vice president of the local hotel association.

"If they respect... our culture and traditions, we must welcome [them]."

Regulating tourism is a cumbersome but vital task for the Kalash, with money from the industry increasingly providing an important source of revenue for the community.

- ‘We are going to die’ -

The Kalash -- who once inhabited a vast territory stretching from the Himalayas in Kashmir to northern Afghanistan -- are now one of the smallest religious minorities in Pakistan, according to Akram Hussain, the director of a local museum.

A recent survey put their number at just 3,872, living in three remote valleys.

"We are going to die if we are not supported," says Hussain.

Kalash traditions, Hussain argues, can be expensive. Weddings and funerals require families to kill dozens of animals for the festivities, driving them into debt, forcing them to sell off land and leave their ancestral homes.


Cases of forced conversions to Islam of Kalash women have also been reported, while the increase in tourism has pushed some in the community to shun traditions like Joshi, according to several residents who spoke to AFP.

Others have begun wearing veils to hide their faces from the prying eyes of outsiders.

"We don’t wear veils as it is not our custom, but some wear them because people take pictures of them from all sides and it makes them feel ashamed," says Musarrat Ali, a high school student.

The ongoing erosion of the culture at the hands of outside forces is tragic, says Sayed Gul, an archaeologist from Bumburate.

"They don’t want to participate just because of these cameras and this insensitivity," says Gul.

"If these things are continuously happening ... maybe in a few years, there are only tourists, there are no more Kalashis to participate and dance in the festivals." AFP




Sunday, June 9, 2019

Chitral 0.4 million vehicles of tourists came to Chitral and #Kalash valley

Chitral 0.4 million vehicles of tourists came to Chitral and #Kalash valley

Chitral 0.4 million vehicles of tourists came to Chitral and Kalash valley but they faced 8 hours wait stranded in traffic jam due to poor system of traffic. 

Photos and Report by Gul Hamaad Farooqi











Tuesday, June 4, 2019

Resident of Kosht given Dead Line of 10 June school be locked if land owner not appointed.

Resident of Kosht given Dead Line of 10 June school be locked if land owner not appointed.

Resident of Kosht given Dead Line of 10 June school be locked if land owner not appointed.


By Gul Hamaad Farooqi

CHITRAL: residents of upper Chitral Kosht village given deadline 10 June to education department for appointment of land owner of Govt primary school No2. Women, children and aged people also came on road along with men to register their protest. They chanted slogan and demanded for immediately appointment of land owner. They said that Shamsul Qadir given his half Acre of land to education department free of cost  on  the condition that Education department will appoint him as Chowkidar (class IV). At the time he was 50 years old and on completion of 60 years of age he retired from government service only on 10 years service.



He submitted application of his son Saif Ahmad as he was entitled as land owner and employee son but education department recruited another person Azaz Ali son of Syed Wakeel Shah who is also disable and not resident of this village and in case of any terrorism attack he cannot save the children.

They said that education department should to appoint land owner or to pay them as market rate 4 million rupees. Talking to this scribe some women and men told that father of Saif Ahmad donated commercial land for school on the condition that employment will be given to his family but now they appointed an other person who is not entitle. They warned by giving deadline  of 10th June that if until completion of deadline Saif Ahmad was appointed they will lock the school and also withdrawn their children and will be admit them in an other school.

Land owner demanded from chief minister KPK, education minister and high ups of education department for appointing him against the vacant post of Chowkedar. It is pertinent to mention here that due to non-availability of Chowkidar in the school  teachers and children also suffering badly.



Tuesday, May 28, 2019

Govt urged to take notice of land grabbing in Chitral - 850 acres of land grabbed

Govt urged to take notice of land grabbing in Chitral - 850 acres of land grabbed

Govt urged to take notice of land grabbing in Chitral - 850 acres of land grabbed 



CHITRAL: The local leaders of the ruling PTI have demanded of the government to take notice of land grabbing in Kagh Lusht area in Upper Chitral.

The PTI leaders including Minhajuddin, Aftab M Tahir and Advocate Ghulam Mustafa alleged that an influential family of Gilgit-Baltistan usurped 850 acres of land with the connivance of district administration.

Addressing a press conference here on Monday,

they alleged that the family grabbed a large piece of land in Kagh Lusht near Booni, the district headquarters of Upper Chitral, on the basis of fake documents.

They said that the documents regarding the ownership of the piece of land were not verified by the Achieves Library of the provincial government in Peshawar on the basis of which they took possession of the land from the former settlement officer, whose tenure spanned over nine years incessantly.

Showing the documents to journalists, the PTI leaders said that the occupants of the land recently tried to produce another letter of 1920s to establish their ownership but it also proved forged as its original copy was not available in the records of judicial council of Chitral.

They said that after their documents proved fake, the two land grabbers -- an uncle and his nephew -- filed civil case against each other in the local court, taking advantage of the indifference of the district administration and the success of any party would prove their ownership.

They said that instead of initiating criminal cases against the land grabbers for forgery and tampering with documents and dispossessing them of the illegally occupied land, the district administration was still a silent spectator.

The PTI leader said that a housing scheme was being established by the land grabbers and its plots were being sold to the gullible and innocent people of Chitral at higher rates while a shopping plaza on Chitral-Booni road was about to complete.

They demanded eviction of the land grabbers and initiation of criminal cases against them.

They said that local people would take to streets if their demands were not met.

Published in Dawn, May 28th, 2019



Monday, May 27, 2019

Shandur polo festival to attract foreign tourists, says Official

Shandur polo festival to attract foreign tourists, says Official

Shandur polo festival to attract foreign tourists, says Official



PESHAWAR, May 24, 2019: The three-day annual Shandur polo festival will begin at the world’s highest polo ground in Chitral on July 7.

Arrangements for the festival were discussed during a meeting chaired by tourism secretary Kamran Rehman here on Thursday.

An official statement said the Shandur polo festival would be organised in a befitting manner to attract both domestic and foreign tourists to the scenic region in large numbers.

“This year, the number of foreign and domestic tourists will be great compared to the yesteryears as peace has completely been restored in the province and the condition of acquiring no objection certificate for the international tourists has already been withdrawn,” the secretary said.

He said boarding and lodging facilities would be provided to both foreign and domestic tourists.

The secretary said scores of foreign tourists recently visited Kalash valleys and enjoyed the Chilimjusht festival.

He said the district government of Chitral, police, Pakistan Army and other institutions would help organise the event at the world’s highest polo ground in a peaceful manner.

The secretary said the relevant departments had been told to renovate polo ground, ensure smooth water supply and transport facility, provide other facilities to the teams, fans and tourists, and hold meetings with stakeholders.

He said Gilgit-Baltistan and Chitral teams would participate in the event.

The statement said rafting in Shandur lake, paragliding, archery and kite flying would attract domestic and foreign tourists to the event in large numbers.

It added that besides a camping village, stalls would also be established to highlight and promote the works of Chitral and Gilgit’s artists and skilled people.

The Tourism Department has already launched a campaign in print, electronic and social media to promote the festival.

The statement said foreigners with valid tourist visa could go places in Khyber Pakhtunkhwa, including Chitral.

Published in Dawn, May 24th, 2019



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