Tourists for historical Khyber Pass getting momentum after years

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By Ashrafuddin Pirzada

LANDIKOTAL: After fourty or more years break due to unfavourable situation in erstwhile Fata,visitors from vrious parts of Pakistan once again started visiting the picnic and historical places in district Khyber, officuals said on Saturday.

Officials said due to smart lock down placed in the past few months in parts of Swat valley,Kalam and Murree, visitors from Khyber Pakhtunkhwa were seen visiting Ali Masjid, Charbagh Ice Gat, Kam Shalman and Loey Shalman to enjoy water falls and stream water to beat the heat.

Vendor shopkeepers in Ali Masjid in Jamrud and Charbagh water fall in Landikotal said they daily serve five to eight hundred visitors only motocycle riders coming from various parts Peshawar and its adjcent areas.They said a good number of local visitors including children also regularly enjoy the water fall in Charbagh.

Salim Khan, who sales fast foods in Ali Masjid told The News that around 15,00 visitors they get coming to the Ali Masjid tourist spots by bikes. He said those come in their personnel vehicles and by other taxi cabs to enjoy Ali Masjid cold water and pleasent weather were excluded of the mentioned visitors.

“After the restoration of peace in Khyber district people are being encouraged to visit historical Khyber Pass and other tourists spots”,said an official of tourism department. He said the government seriously promote tourism in Khyber district where more then a dozen picnic spots that could attract tourists if proplerly maintain and work on it.

“The increasing number of tourists to district Khyber not only help bost the local business but it also generating revenue and created jobs for locals where a humber of markets places recently opned to entertain tourists in Khyber”,said assistsnt commissioner of Landikotal Muhammad Imran. He said they have directed police,TMA staff and other government employees to facilitate visitors in Landikotal.

Meawhile, a young man, identified as Danyal Afridi, who was completely parralised with his both legs and was seen on bed visited historical Torkham border and Michni hills top check post along with his friends. Assistant commissioner Muhammad Imran received him at Michni check post and beriefed him about the historical and strategic importance of durand line.

Talking to this scribe Danyal said though he could not walk and sit on his feet but still he loved to visit every tourist and historical place in Pakistan.

“I enjoyed my trip to Ali Masjid and Torkham border and hope not only local,regional but also international visitors will visit the historical rich Khyber Pass and other places in district Khyber.
Danyal was also offered lunch and took him to charbagh water fall where hundreds of other picnicers gathered around him to meet a man on bed wjo did not lost his courage and enjoyed the famous “Ice Gat” water fall in Landikotal that attract more then two thousands visitors every day.

Shams,a local residents in Landikotal, said that they get more traffic noise since picnicers mostly on bikes coming early morning but it also gave a hope of peace and security for them. He said first the people coming from Peshawar and elsewhere take a break at Ali Masjid then they coming to Landikotal bazaar.He said in Landikotal bazaar they enjoy Chapli Kabab and mutton tikka which is famous around the world.

Shopkeepers in Landikotal and Sultankhel bazaar were of the view that in the current summer picnicers purchased soft drinks and other fastfoods more then their expectation. They said though lock down suffered their businesses but know gradually they were overcoming from financial losses.

Traders and businessmen urged tourism department and other concerned authorities to launch small and mega projects for tourists so that they could attract valueable tourists to resume the chunk of visitors used to visited some four decads before.