By Fazal Khaliq
MINGORA: The tourists and local people gathered in a large number in the scenic Kalam valley here on Sunday evening to enjoy a snow jeep rally.
They said that more snow-related events should be organised to promote winter tourism in Swat. They said that they were thrilled to see jeeps racing on the high altitude mountainous track.
“It was something new and unique for us to see jeep races on the slippery and dangerous track. It reminds me some scenes of English movies,” said Nazir Khan, a resident of Kalam.
At least 42 drivers from across the country took part in the snow jeep rally. They covered the seven-kilometre long track located more than 8,500 feet above the sea level. The jeep rally was organised by the KP tourism department, Islamabad Jeep Club, district admiration and Pakistan Army jointly.
Malik Amir Saeed, a Kalam-based driver, who covered the seven-kilometre distance in five minutes in the category A, got first position. Raja Anwar grabbed second while Liaqat Ali stood third in the race.
Similarly, Javed Kalami got first position in category B and Peshawar-based driver Fazal Ahmad got first position in category C. The organisers said that Kalam was selected for the rally due to its beautiful terrain.
“Forty two drivers from six clubs including Zalmey Off Road Club, Swat 4×4, Malakand 4×4, Chitral 4×4 and teams from Peshawar and Lahore participated in the rally. All the drivers were divided into three categories on the basis of their vehicles,” said Asad Marwat, an organiser of the event. He added that it was a successful event.
Malik Amir Saeed, the winner of the event, said that he had been driving in the rough terrain of Swat for many years. “I was confident to win the race. Luckily, my work bore fruit and I won the race,” he said. He added that he was excited to perform in front of a large number of spectators.
Assistant Commissioner Kashif Khan and Lt-Col Ayaz Wali gave away awards and prizes to the winners in the closing ceremony at Shahi Bagh Ground.