CHITRAL, Nov 26: Illegal hunting of a Kashmir markhor has been reported in Toshi Shasha Game Reserve.

Conservationist Miraj Hussain from Seen village told Dawn on Monday that three gunmen were recently seen poaching markhor in Toshi area.

According to him, Wazir Khan and Gul, community watchers from Bilphok area, spotted the gunmen and asked them not to poach markhor but the latter threatened them with violence.

The two reported the matter to the local Wildlife Department officials, but to no avail. The conservationist claimed that the wildlife officials had connived with the poachers.

He said the poaching of markhor was going unchecked in the game reserve despite the local residents’ repeated complaints to the Wildlife Department officials.

He also complained of violation of ban on grazing of goats in the game reserve and said markhors were contracting diseases from goats.

LOWARI TUNNEL: The National Highway Authority (NHA) has decided to open the incomplete Lowari Tunnel to public transport vehicles on three alternate days of the week, according to Chitral DCO Rehmatullah Wazir.

Mr Wazir told Dawn on Monday that the tunnel would be open to public transport between 1200 hrs to 1730 hrs on Monday, Wednesday and Friday.

He said NHA officials and the Korean construction company representatives would meet soon to discuss the possibility of the opening of the tunnel to passenger vehicles on a daily basis. — Correspondent

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