Shepherds stranded in Balakot due to snowfall

Published June 24, 2022
Shepherds start leaving summer grazing meadows in upper parts of Kaghan valley after the area received heavy snowfall. — Dawn
Shepherds start leaving summer grazing meadows in upper parts of Kaghan valley after the area received heavy snowfall. — Dawn

MANSEHRA: Over a dozen people, including shepherds, got stranded in Khambanar meadow of Balakot tehsil due to heavy snowfall on Thursday.

Mohammad Riaz, a relative of stranded shepherds, told reporters that he wasn’t sure if his family members were alive as survival in such an inclement weather and that, too, inside small huts seemed to be a miracle.

He said his family’s six members, had gone to the meadow bordering Azad Jammu and Kashmir to graze over 500 goats and sheep but got stuck due to heavy snowfall.

“I was present in an area near Balakot, so I returned to inform family about the stranded members and seek the government’s help for their rescue,” he said calling the snowfall unexpected.

Rescue 1122 workers leave for area

Meanwhile, a joint team of Rescue 1122 and Kaghan Development Authority left Mansehra for the rescue operation in Khambanar area.

“We are on the way to the mountainous area to rescue stranded shepherds, their herds as well as other people,” Rescue 1122 worker Amir Khadam told reporters.

TEA GARDENING: Federal planning and development minister Ahsan Iqbal on Thursday advocated tea gardening to reduce import bill.

He told growers after visiting the National Tea Research Centre in Shinkiari here that despite being an agrarian economy, the country imported wheat, edible oil and tea and whenever their prices increased in the international markets, the country had to spend huge foreign exchanges on their import causing economic problems.

Accompanied by federal minister for parliamentary affairs Murtaza Abbasi, Mr Iqbal regretted that the National Tea Research Centre was established in 1986 but the tea produced by it hadn’t been commercialised despite being of high quality.

“We are going to evolve a master plan for self-sufficiency in tea production,” he said.

Representative of tea growers Tajuddin Khan, who was also present, called for the provision of soft loans and other facilities to growers for tea cultivation.

Published in Dawn, June 24th, 2022

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