Islamabad: Ahsan Iqbal, Federal Minister for Planning, Development & Reform, said the government must link Chitral to the tremendous trade and economic opportunities that will arise from the opening of the Lowari Tunnel and the CPEC projects.
Addressing a round-table conference 'Devising our own Destiny: A Model for Collaborative Partnership for Inclusive and Sustainable Growth in Chitral' hosted by Pakistan Poverty Alleviation Fund (PPAF) in collaboration with the Federal, Provincial and District Governments of Chitral, he said Chitral District is particularly vulnerable to natural disasters with the frequency of such disasters increasing every few years. The organizations gathered here are critically important in helping mitigate the effects of climate change and build disaster resilient communities and structures.
It will take the full support, technical assistance and resources of all the stakeholders present here to ensure that Chitral is protected from the effects of climate change and natural disasters, Ahsan Iqbal said. The preservation and promotion of the unique cultural heritage of the region and sustainable planned economic growth that does not damage the fragile social balance of Chitral is also a concern."
Qazi Azmat Isa, CEO of PPAF, said PPAF has invested in the social capital in Chitral for 15 years and now we are convening all the stakeholders to create a unique model of sustainable and inclusive development which will make Chitral a model district in KP.
He added Chitral has been cut off from the mainstream because of the location throughout the year and the climate in winters. We are at a juncture in time when the Lowari Tunnel and the CPEC routes will make travel to and from Chitral much easier and therefore much more frequent.
Stefano Pontecorvo, Italian Ambassador to Pakistan spoke about the Italian commitment to Pakistan and development in Chitral. He said he believes that Pakistan will be one of the most leading countries in the next 10 years. Thomas Drew, British High Commissioner to Pakistan spoke about his many visits to Chitral which he saw as a haven of peace, diversity and natural beauty. He fully supported the stakeholder commitment to sustainable development in Chitral.