PIA cancelled Islamabad Chitral flights
Filed Under: Music & Film, World | Posted: 11/20/2007 at 12:05AM
Comments | Region: Qatar
Islamabad-Chitral flights halted
CHITRAL: A dark day for Chitralis on 19 Nov when air service linking the district directly to the federal capital was terminated. PIA flights would now on operate to Chitral only from Peshawar as was the status 40 years ago. The direct air service from the capital was installed after much efforts from well meaning individuals but it received no support from politicians who were worried the credit was not going to them. Politicians who are in the run for office in the national elections were tacitly working against it behind the scenes. The PIA had not wanted the service to succeed from the first day for reasons best known to them. Seats were denied to intending passengers at Islamabad and the plane was made to fly almost empty to make a case for it’s cessation. The cessation of the service just at the time when Lowari pass is about to get blocked and the service most needed speaks of a conspiracy too. If the PIA records are checked from the time the flight started operating on 15 May to it’s cessation on 19 November it would be clear where lay the problem. Only a handful of passengers were flying from Islamabad and those too on chance tickets as confirmed tickets were not being issued, while on the other hand the return flight from Chitral to Islamabad was always full, even more in demand than the Chitral-Peshawar flight. This fact itself is enough to prove that the service was being strangled at Islamabad right from the first day. Wg Cdr (r) Fardad Ali Shah a PPP leader from Chitral has said that it would be his first priority that the air service for which he had worked so hard, be restored, improved upon and Chitralis be given more facilities instead of withdrawing the already existing ones. He said this has a typical similarity to the Lowari tunnel dream of 30 years ago which faced hurdles created by influential vested interests all these years, but eventualy did see materialisation.
G.H.Farooqi PO Box No. 50 GPO Chitral Pakistan Telephone No. 03025989602