LANDI KOTAL: The political administration of Khyber Agency has planned to begin the first-ever Khyber Safari Bus Service from Peshawar to Landi Kotal soon.
Khyber top administrator Khalid Mehmud told Dawn that all necessary arrangements had already been finalised and the Khyber Safari Bus would run through the liistoric Khyber Pass in 10 days at maximum.
He said he was personally overseeing the project and would ensure its successful execution.
Additional political agent Mir Raza Uzgan and assistant political agent Jamrud Ziaur Rehman Marat have been tasked with identifying tourist spots and historic locations along the 35 kilometers road from Karakhano market on the western periphery of Peshawar up to the Agency Quarter Landi Kotal as well as hiring a luxury bus for the purpose.
Under the initial plan, the bus will run through Khyber Pass on weekly basis. Later, the trips will be increased seeing the interest of tourists.
Mr. Mehmud said tourists would be taken to the historic Jamrud Fort, Shagai Fort, Ah Masjid Fort and Khyber Rifles Mess, while a short tour of Landi Kotal Bazaar would also be arranged for them.
The luxury bus to be hired
for the service will be painted in bright colours with images of historic places of Khyber and some slogans about the revival of tourist activities in the region.
Zahoor Durrani, former director of Sehrai Travels and a consultant to the Khyber political administration for revival of Khyber Safari Train and Bus Service, said it would an academic tour during which visitors would be given authentic information about the history and culture of the region.
Mr. Durrani have a vast experience of arranging guided tours of the historic places in the then North West Frontier Province and recently had contribution to the revival of Attock Safari Train.
He said the Khyber Safari Bus service needed to be properly advertised and highlighted in media in order to attract the maximum number of tourists.
He said a limousine car would take a select group of tourists to the Khyber Pass and Swat valley in early 60s under the supervision of Sehrai Travels but the service was suspended during the 1965 Indo-Pak war.
“No safari bus service had ever operated on the Khyber route,” he said.
He said the rugged terrain of Khyber Agency was a treasure of the untold historic events and unexplored historic sites and thus, requiring delicate handling.
“It should be a quality service instead of just a media gimmick,” he said.
The current administration recently organised a jeep rally from Torkham to Bara and the first-ever sports gala in the picturesque Tirah valley.