Parachinar once used to be called ‘a paradise on Earth’. Despite its natural beauty and strategic importance, Parachinar NOW is in a dire strait due to sectarian violence initially instigated by the negative policies of former president Ziaul Haq. The residents of Parachinar predominantly Shia, are the target of sectarian extremism and this has been the primary cause of clashes there. This violence has transformed the once beautiful land into ruins, completely destroying infrastructure. The main road connecting Peshawar to Parachinar is blocked by sectarian extremists who brutally kill travellers to and from Parachinar. Local people have been forced to travel through dangerous routes via Afghanistan and back into Peshawar just to purchase daily rations and essential items. Today, even that route has been closed, effectively cutting them off from the rest of Pakistan.
PARACHINAR: FROM PARADISE TO HELL [OF EXTREMISM]
by Riaz Ali Toori
Parachinar, the paradise like valley of Pakistan is very significant due to its strategic location. Bordering Afghanistan, lying in the upper part of Kurram Agency in the FATA, 250 km west of Islamabad, , Parachinar is blessed with immense natural beauty.
People here are friendly and eager to acquire knowledge. There are good opportunities as well as encouragement for females aspiring for education. Each year students in hundreds leave the town for other cities of Pakistan in pursuit of basic academic and professional education. A good many youth of Parachinar are presently studying in differend Cadet, Medical, and Engineering universities all across the country.
Remarkably, there are no restrictions, usually in existence in the tribal society that we have here in the borderlands of Pakistan. Women’s education is patronized by parents who feel very proud when their daughters achieve a mark of distinction in education.
in Parachinar there is only one Degree College for men and one for women and nearly 270 primary, 30 secondary and 32 high schools excluding a number of private schools and colleges.
Since the main source of income is farming on very small scale, gardening and natural resource utilizations, therefore, a large section of people from Parachinar have gone abroad, especially to the Middle East for better livelihood which has assured them in return a comparatively decent and modern standard of living. (more…)