No Kaghan Festival after Eid
MANSEHRA, Aug 19: The provincial government has decided not to organise Kaghan Festival in Naran following the Babusar Top sectarian violence and in light of intelligence reports about more such attacks in the area.
“In the wake of deadly Babusar Top attack and reports about more attacks, the provincial government has decided to review its decision to hold Kaghan Festival after Eidul Fitr,” said irrigation minister Ahmad Hussain Shah told reporters here on Sunday.
Nineteen passengers were killed when gunmen attacked a convoy heading towards Gilgit-Baltistan on Thursday last.
Mr Hussain, who belongs to Kaghan Valley, said provincial government had expressed solidarity with people and the government of Gilgit-Baltistan over the violence, and would take the culpable people to task.
He said work on development schemes in Balakot was in full swing as the government wanted to develop the underdeveloped areas in the tehsil for the locals’ welfare.
The minister said most problems of the people of Kaghan Valley would be addressed soon as the Kaghan Development Authority was initiating it developmental project in the valley.
Mr Shah said that Kaghan festival which had attracted hundreds and thousands tourists to valley last year was expected much higher number of tourists this year.
“We want to revive the October 8, 2005 earthquake and terrorism plagued tourism industry in the Khyber Pakhtunkhwa and last year Kaghan festival attracted a large number of tourists to this paradise on the earth since the tragedy in 2005 and this year we were expecting a much higher number of tourist it the festival,” he said.
Mr Shah, who will observe the Eid in his native village in Kaghan on Monday, said it was for the first time in the history of Balakot tehsil that youngsters were being imparted technical training in various field so that they could be provided employment in country and abroad.
Meanwhile, gunmen on Sunday looted passengers of a Darband- bound ferry in the Indus River.
The passengers were on their way to Darband, a town in Mansehra, from Haripur via Tarbala Lake when three people posing themselves as passengers got up and held passengers hostage at gunpoint. They took the ferry to the bank of the river in Dahree area and deprived passengers of cash, mobile sets, watches and other valuables, and fled.
Pervez, one of the passengers, said robbers deprived him of Rs60,000 cash, Taj Mohammad of Rs50,000 and Mohammad Abbas of Rs10,000.
After being informed by passengers about the robbery, Haripur and Darband police began investigation.
However, no arrests could be made by Sunday night.