Arandu gets Community Business Center

CHITRAL: A community-managed business center was inaugurated at Arandu in Lower Chitral district. The business center is established by Sarhad Rural Support Programme with the financial assistance of PATRIP foundation.

The border town of Arandu in district Chitral connects Kunar and Nuristan provinces of Afghanistan with Pakistan. The business center comprises of 20 shops, offices, a mosque and eight public washrooms. The center is expected to play pivotal role in building cross-border relationships between the peoples of this region.

Chitral has traditionally served as a good center for business, economic and social ties between these areas. It is expected that once the border areas open up, the community-run business center would boost business relationships between these areas.

Assistant Commissioner Drosh Abdul Haq, who represented Deputy Commissioner, Commanding Officer 62 Baloch Farooq Bugti, community elders, CEO of Sarhad Rural Support Programme (SRSP) Masood-ul-Mulk and representatives of PATRIP Foundation attended the function.

The CEO of SRSP, speaking on the occasion, said the SRSP had helped build 52 kilometres road in the valley to make it accessible. He said his organization rebuilt 32 government schools and improved with additional rooms, latrines and made drinking water available.

A girls’ hostel was established to promote education, he said, adding that Arandu was one of the most neglected parts of this province with abysmal social indicators. “This investment from the government of Germany will help improve the quality of life in the region and boost ties with border districts,” he added.

The elders proposed sports ties across the border as an initial step. However, it was decided that the matter would be discussed at the government level. Assistant commissioner and the community elders were handed over the ownership documents. The community elders thanked PATRIP Foundation, SRSP, the administration and the Pak Army for making development activities possible in this remote and hitherto neglected region. ­