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Civil society of Chitral gathers at Press Club Islamabad in solidarity with PK-661 affectees

Members of civil society of Chitral along with a number of other concerned people gathered outside Islamabad Press Club in solidarity with the affectees of PK-661.

Imran Ahmed Hunzai

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Civil society of Chitral gathers at Press Club Islamabad in solidarity with PK-661 affectees

Members of civil society of Chitral along with a number of other concerned people gathered outside Islamabad Press Club for a candlelight vigil in solidarity with the affectees of PK-661. Earlier last week, a PIA ATR flight PK-661 crashed near Havelian with 47 people on board. Among the passengers, 20 were from Chitral including 6 from the same family. So far, only four bodies have been identified. Due to the fleet of ATR aircraft being grounded by PIA, the family and relatives of the departed are facing great difficulty in transferring the bodies to Chitral.

A young student is burning a candle outside Islamabad Press Club where a number of members from civil society of Chitral gathered for a candlelight vigil.

A young student is burning a candle outside Islamabad Press Club where a number of members from civil society of Chitral gathered for a candlelight vigil.

The event was organized by members of civil society of Chitral along with Chitral Students Welfare Organization residing in Rawalpindi and Islamabad. According to the activists, the agenda is to raise voice for speeding up the identification process of dead bodies and fair investigation of the incident. The other demand includes transferring bodies of deceased through a C-130. Family members of the deceased have already been brought from their remote hometowns in Chitral for DNA samples.

Family members of the deceased have already been brought from their remote hometowns in Chitral for DNA samples.

Members of Chitral Students Federation holding banners during candlelight vigil outside Islamabad Press Club

Members of Chitral Students Federation holding banners during candlelight vigil outside Islamabad Press Club

The attendees of candlelight vigil also emphasized that Lowari Tunnel must be opened for traffic so that passengers would not have to bear the extra difficulty that they face while crossing Lowari top. Currently, Lowari Top is covered with snow while the tunnel remains closed due to the on-going maintenance work. It is still unclear when PIA will start operating its flights.

Pictures of deceased passengers and crew were displayed at candlelight vigil in memory of crashed PK-661 flight.

Pictures of deceased passengers and crew were displayed at candlelight vigil in memory of crashed PK-661 flight.

Talking to GBee, Waqas Ali Muluk, who has lost his uncle in the incident said that they demand a free and fair investigation of the crash and that “Resignation of PIA Chairman is not enough”. he added.

He added:

“We demand job creation in PIA and other government organizations for the family members of deceased”.

Talking about the difficulties faced by passengers while crossing Lowari Pass, he said:

“Lowari tunnel should be opened for at least 3 days in a week for passengers going to Chitral”.

Imran Hunzai is a Digital Media Consultant and activist based in Islamabad, Pakistan. When free, he likes to travel, do photography and play Rabab. He also runs a HONY inspired blog called Humans of Hunza. Follow him on Twitter @ihunzai.

Chitral

Duke and Duchess of Cambridge visit Chitral as part of their Royal Tour in Pakistan

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Duke and Duchess of Cambridge visit Chitral, Pakistan
PHOTO CREDITS: WIREIMAGE

The Duke and Duchess of Cambridge flew from Islamabad to Chitral on their third day of Royal tour in Pakistan. This is the first royal tour of Prince William and his wife Kate Middleton to Pakistan.

The two were welcomed with traditional Chitrali Pakol, a traditional Chitrali cap, and Chitrali Chogha, a traditional long coat in often presented to dignitaries, at the Chitral Airport.

The Duke and Duchess of Cambridge arrive at Chitral Airport
The Duke and Duchess of Cambridge arrive at Chitral Airport where they were presented with traditional Chitrali cap and Chitrali Chogha. Photo: WireImage

The royal couple had landed in Islamabad on Monday evening as part of a 5-day long royal tour in Pakistan. The Duke and Duchess of Cambridge had a busy first day in the capital where they had a meeting with Prime  Minister Imran Khan. Earlier, the royal couple visited Islamabad Model College for Girls, a government-run school in the capital city.

Later, the British High Commissioner for Pakistan Thomas Drew hosted a reception for the Duke and Duchess of Cambridge at Pakistan Monument in Islamabad. The royal couple arrived at Pakistan Monument in an auto-rickshaw.

Duchess of Cambridge in Chitrali Cap
The Duchess of Cambridge at Chitral Airport wearing a traditional Chitrali cap and Chitrali Chogha.

The Duke had spoken of the challenges Pakistan faces from climate change at a reception at Pakistan Monument in Islamabad.

“Tomorrow we will be seeing some of these impacts first hand and meeting some of the communities adjusting to the new realities and new challenges that climate change has brought to their towns and villages,” he said.

He further added:

“I hope to learn what more we all can do to help prevent and mitigate this impending global catastrophe.”

William and Kate are also expected to visit Gilgit-Baltistan and the historic city of Lahore as part of their royal tour.

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Chitral

Aga Khan Higher Secondary School Chitral observes International Day of Peace

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AKHSS Chitral

Aga Khan Higher Secondary School, Seenlasht, Chitral, organized student activities to commemorate International Day of Peace on September 21, 2019. As a responsible seat of learning imparting educational excellence to the youth in the region, the school focuses both on academic and co-curricular activities.

The activities aim to prepare its students to compete with the challenges offered by the globalized society of today and to make them responsive to the challenges faced by modern society. In doing so, the focus of the school is to bring international dimensions, themes, and activities into the teaching and learning processes of the school by incorporating the sustainable development goals (SDG’s) of the United Nations with the syllabus and students learning outcomes.

These objectives are being met by organizing student activities in collaboration with the British Council’s International School Award initiative and in partnership with national and international Schools. Observance of International Peace Day was one of the 21 such activities the school plans to perform during the academic year 2019.

The Day was observed after 2nd break where students participated in different creative activities to commemorate the world peace day. The guest speaker was Mr. Qazi Salamt, religious Scholar from Chitral and the chief guest was Mr. Sherdoom, manger ITREB lower Chitral and attended by other guests.

Specific activities included Observance of “Minute of Silence”, Presentation by students on the “Charter of Madina”- the earliest document on peace presented 1400 years ago by the Prophet of Islam Muhammad (PBUH), student’s talk show on the topic, “Peace Education through Pakistan Studies”, student research presentation on “Noble Peace Prize”, and student’s sketch making competition on Noble Peace laureates.

The MoC shedding light on the importance of the day linked it with the theme of the Day for 2019 and said that “Climate Action”-the theme of this year, and campaign for the protection of the environment is in the priority list of the school. “The activities of the school including cleanliness campaign, plantation drive, observance of World Environment Day and World Wild Life Day to name a few, observed by the school this year by involving government departments, civil society and partner school is a witness of the school’s international commitment towards achieving the SDG’s of the UN”, added the comparer.

A faculty member of the School, Mukhtar Ali shared the objectives of the program. The guest speaker explored the notion of peace as propounded in the Quran and in the teachings of the Prophet Muhammad (PBUH). He said that “Quran is actually promoting peace by discouraging enmities, fostering fair relations and unity through its various verses”. He shared that the notion of peace has been referred to in the Quran as a “blessing-Rahma”, and students should refer back to the holy Quran if they wish to know the philosophy of Peace.

The chief guest said that to bring peace in the society, the students should focus on their self-transformation and become responsible citizens at the first place and work towards the elimination of all sort of injustice and prejudice, which will result in the permeation of peace in the society. He invited the students to explore the three words, Islam, Musalman and Salam-the three words signifying the faith, its subscribers and their method of interaction-all referring to various dimensions of the notion of peace.

The venue of the program was decorated with students artworks depicting the theme of the day and various SDG’s of the UN. The school is planning to share these activities with a foreign school through the partnership mechanism as envisioned in the British Council’s International School Award initiative.

The program concluded with the words of thanks by the principal of the School Mr. Tufail Nawaz.

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