CHITRAL: The residents have expressed the hope that the opening of Durah Pass, also called Shah Sadim Pass, in Chitral’s northwest and Arandu in the south will promote trade and tourism in the region and thus bring about poverty reduction and prosperity.

The customs stations are being established in these areas.

The officers of Peshawar customs collectorate have visited the two border areas in the last couple of months for assessment of various aspects of the opening of customs stations to regulate trade with Afghanistan.

Both routes remained open to trade with Afghan provinces of Kunar and Badakhshan until 1990s making both Gobor and Arandu areas business hubs and thus creating job opportunities for the residents.

The Gobor route was the largest source of revenue collection for the district council in the form of octroi tax on the items brought in from Badakhshan, including gemstones, dried fruit, livestock and carpets, while a large number of items were sent from Chitral to Badakhshan.

Chitralis hopeful about poverty reduction, prosperity

Chitral Chamber of Commerce and Industry president Sartaj Ahmad Khan said the Durah Pass, which remained a major trade route between Pakistan and Afghanistan for more than a decade, was closed in 2006.

He said like Torkham border, Shah Salim area was a commercial hub as a market was established there for the items of daily use purchased by the people of Badakhshan.

Trader Mian Asif said Badakhshan had large goat and sheep population and the border opening would ensure adequate mutton quantity in Chitral.

LIVESTOCK INSURANCE: The cheque distribution ceremony of livestock insurance scheme was organised by Snow Leopard Foundation (SLF) here the other day for the communities of Sor Laspur, Balim Laspur, Mori Payeen, Koghuzi, Kuju Payeen and Parsan villages of Chitral.

The move is aimed at conservation of snow leopard which has been declared as endangered species by IUCN.

SLF programme manager, Chitral, Shafiq Ullah Khan said the insurance scheme was aimed at building tolerance towards carnivores in communities.

PTI OFFICE-BEARERS: Activists of Pakistan Tehreek-i-Insaf, including Mohammad Hissam and Jameelullah, have rejected the selection process for district presidents of both lower and upper Chitral districts, contending it was in violation of the party constitution.

Addressing a press conference on Saturday, they said that dubious method was adopted by the committee to find out opinion of party workers in connection with nomination of the district presidents.

They said last date for applying to the office of district president as per election schedule was Dec 16, so it was wrong to declare the election of district presidents a week before.

Published in Dawn, December 15th, 2019

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