Now it has become possible for visitors from all parts of the country to visit Kalam, ‘the heaven on earth’. The Army move has made the locals as well as happy, as Swat links with Kalam had been disturbed for the last few years.
Kalam is about 100-km away from the main Mingora city. Thousands of tourists from all over Pakistan and foreign countries throng Swat every year. The locals got their own source of livelihood, which was often the only source for their needs of the rest of the year. The people belonging to the upper regions of Swat, like Bahrain, Madyan, Kalam and Kohistan, also invested a lot of money in the tourism sector. Kalam, the most beautiful scenic area of Swat, owing to which the whole of Swat is called ‘the paradise on earth’, has been a distant dream for tourists for the last couple of years.
It took people up to four hours to travel from Bahrain to Kalam, which is hardly 35-km away. After the insurgency, when peace was restored in the valley infrastructure had been completely demolished by the militants and there were no basic life facilities. Besides the role of district government was also not clear and people were confused about the process of rehabilitation. The valley first faced poor economic conditions due to the tourism industry, which had been badly hit. Then, the entire areas were hit by a natural disaster in shape of floods. The whole infrastructure of the valley had been destroyed.
The tragedy was so enormous that emergency was imposed and the Army not only rescued the people and shifted them to safe places through helicopters but also provided them with foods and medicines. The Army also started work on the road that had been washed away, separating Bahrain from Kalam. The provincial government also helped in this development.
Recently, Khyber Pakhtunkhwa, Chief Minister, Ameer Haider Khan Hoti visited Swat, where he said NHA had already signed a contract to build a permanent road as soon as possible.