ISLAMABAD: Dwindling funds are also dwindling the hope for the completion of the strategically important Lowari Tunnel project which is due to be ready and functional in 2017.
The project’s estimated cost of Rs18bn may reach Rs30bn by the end of its completion due to the country’s precarious national economic conditions, warned eminent economist Dr Hassan Askari.
According to officials in the Ministry of Communication, the cost has already been estimated to be Rs23bn. Due to its geographical situation, Chitral remains totally cut off from the rest of the country for over five months every winter due to heavy snowfall on the 10,200-feet-high Lowari Tunnel.
During that time, the people of Chitral have to travel to Afghanistan to access Pakistan as the Lowari Pass is the only land route connecting the district to other parts of the country.
Bid for release of women
PRAGUE: The Czech government is negotiating the release of two women kidnapped in Pakistan in March, President Milos Zeman said yesterday. Antonie Chrastecka and Hana Humpalova, both 24, were seized while travelling in a bus through the southwestern province of Baluchistan near the Afghan border en route to India. “I can only say they are somewhere between Pakistan and Afghanistan and their release is being negotiated,” Zeman said. told CTK news agency when asked about the case during a meeting with students in the Czech city of Kolin.