Public library still a far cry in Chitral

Weekly Bang-e-Sahar karachi Saturday, September 13——-September 19, 2008

Due to unavailability of land, the scheme of construction of a public library in the city was shifted to some other area, sources claimed here on Wednesday.
The provincial Department of Archives And Library had included it in the development plan during the last days of the former MMA government in the NWFP. The district government had to provide a piece of land, free of cost, as no provision was there for purchasing land.
According to the sources, the library department had approached the district nazim Chitral who requested to the revenue department to provide a piece of land near the DCO offices but it was reportedly turned down by the authorities without any reason. “The district government failed to provide land to the department and the project was shelved or shifted to some other district where land was made available,” a source said.
The proposed library was designed on modern lines providing maximum facilities to students, children, women and general public having separate sections. The proposed multi-storied and magnificent proposed building of the library had also the facilities of computers and internet, the sources said.
Meanwhile, residents of Chitral have expressed anguish over the reported shelving of the project and said that the city had no public library which was a great dilemma for knowledge seekers.
They said that the facility was the longstanding demand of locals particularly students and the previous government had fulfilled the dream. They said that the state-owned land in front of the newly constructed Women Hospital should be provided for the purpose while the adjacent residential quarters of the British era, which were in ramshackle condition, must also be used for the proposed library.—
Unique cultural programme held at Astore
Ancient town of Astore served as the vital staging town on the only animal transport route between Srinagar and Gilgit before 1947 through Tragbal pass, Gurez Valley , Burzil pass, Bunji and over Indus river. Astore is the nerve centre of link of Gilgit Baltistan with Indian Occupied Kashmir and Pakistan administered Kashmir through Shuntar pass and then along Kishnganga (Neelum) Valley to Muzaffarabad. Two very important activities were undertaken here by Mr. Iqbal Astori, in the month of August. Mr. Mohammad Iqbal happens to be the Chairman of Karakoram National Movement (KNM) and now since 31 August 2008, the new chairman of APNA, Bolor Jammu Kashmir.
He along with his companions in the second week of August crossed over Shuntar pass on foot into Pakistani Kashmir, where he was enthusiastically welcomed. It is worth mentioning that last year on 13th August, two Kashmiri youth of National Students Federation (NSF) belonging to POK lost their lives, when they were caught in the high snow clad Shuntar pass in a blizzard. On 28 August 2008, in Astore proper, a huge, unique and grass root level cultural programme was organized by KNM (Karakoram National Movement).
The purpose was to revive ages old culture and customs, in order to revive nationalism and exemplary sectarian harmony among Astoris. The programme started after mid-night and lasted till 4am. Close to ten thousand people including three thousand ladies attended. Two intermission speeches were made by Mr Iqbal and Bashir Ahmed Khan.
Now, APNA has again pondered over its planned but not yet executed programme of bringing together the people of the divided former State at the confluence of the three supposedly interim administrations till the final resolution of the dispute at Gilgit, Srinagar and Muzaffarabad, in the area of ancient Shardha university, close to Taobat area in upper Kishnganga river valley.We want to weigh response of the people of divided former State through discussion forum, so as to execute the plan in the coming season.


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