PM cancels Dir visit at last minute
UPPER DIR/CHITRAL, Nov 15: Prime Minister Raja Pervez Ashraf cancelled the visit to Upper Dir for the inauguration of work on the Lowari Tunnel expansion project at the eleventh hour on Thursday.
In the absence of the prime minister, Communication Minister Arbab Alamgir opened the work.
The prime minister was slated to address a public meeting on the occasion and thousands of party workers and supporters had showed up for it.
Angered by the last-minute cancellation of the prime minister’s visit, the participants shouted slogans against their leaders, including Arbab Alamgir, former federal minister Najmuddin Khan and provincial minister Salim Khan.
On the occasion, Mr Najmuddin threatened to quit PPP if the prime minister didn’t announce the schedule for his visit to the area.
He said PPP workers and leaders had hoped that the prime minister would announce the construction of a road between Akhagram and Dir and provision of gas to the region, but the cancellation of the visit shattered their hopes.
In Chitral, the arrangements for the prime minister’s visit to Lowari Tunnel stressed out hundreds of the people traveling to and from the district.
The commuters, including women and children, said they had to stop in Upper Dir due to closure of the road passing through the southern part of the tunnel, where the prime minister was to inaugurate the expansion project.
Lowari Pass is the only route connecting Chitral district with the rest of the country.
Also, commuters from upper Chitral remained stranded in the district due to the blockade of Lowari Road.
The road was opened to traffic on Thursday afternoon only after the visit of the prime minister was cancelled.