PESHAWAR: A large number of onlookers thronged Indus River as the eighth Water Cross Jeep Race 2019 kicked off at Hund point near Swabi Interchange on the M-1 Motorway on Sunday.
During the event organised by the Tourism Corporation Khyber Pakhtunkhwa (TCKP), Frontier 4x4 Club and Swabi district government, the spectators including men, women, youth and children enjoyed the game of force and power of four wheelers and the plucky drivers crossing the mighty Indus River.
The activity is aimed at providing entertainment to the locals and highlighting the potential of tourism in Khyber Pakhtunkhwa.
The show was sensational but ferocious too as drivers pulled over their vehicles to the banks of the Indus and started off after putting them into the flowing water.
National Assembly Speaker Asad Qaiser, Adviser to Chief Minister Abdul Karim, Swabi Deputy Commissioner Salman Lodhi, Frontier 4x4 Club president Babar Khan and others also attended the event.
Jeeps drive across K-P to highlight province’s potential for tourism
Qaiser remarked that the event had proved that peace had been restored in the area and the government wanted to invite people from across the country to visit and enjoy the scenic spots of the province.
“We gave a message of peace and tranquility to the entire nation and world,” he said.
The chief minister’s adviser said that through such events people from different regions got an opportunity to come together and exchange their cultural views and values.
All the racers tested their skills and talent to cross the tough water track in the shortest possible time, but only a few were fortunate to accomplish the sturdy task.
According to the organisers, over 100 jeep racers, including women drivers and motorbike riders, participated in the event.
A craggy track of 17 kilometres was formed over the waters of the Indus for the jeep racers.
In the women category, Salma Marwat clinched the first position as she crossed the track in 15.38 minutes, whereas Asma Siddiqui stood second by passing through in 19.44 minutes.
In Category A, Baqir Shah stood first by passing through the track in 12.33 minutes. Tariq Khan stood second and Shehzad Sattar third by crossing the track in 13.03 and 13.42 minutes, respectively.
Similarly, in Category B, Shakil Barqi got first position after he crossed the track in 13.44 minutes. Nasir Khan remained second with 13.48 minutes and Tariq Misgi third with 13.58 minutes.
In Category C, Iftikhar Zarin stood first with 14.21 minutes, Sardar Hassan bagged second position with 16.36 minutes and Usman Nadeem third with 25.11 minutes.
In Category D, Raza Jan grabbed first position by crossing the track in 11.47 minutes, Sohail Khan stood second with 14.49 minutes and Saqib Tawana was ranked third with 19.47 minutes.
The organisers noted that the provincial government was making strenuous efforts to promote tourism. Steps were being taken to explore the archaeological and religious sites and revive heritage in the province. The organisers maintained that K-P was blessed with tourism resorts, rivers, springs, green fields, mountains and other scenic spots.
The event has now become a regular feature as the TCKP in collaboration with the Frontier 4x4 Club is organising the thrilling jeep race on the waters of Indus River every year.
The winners of the race were awarded trophies.
The TCKP has also conducted the first-ever paragliding and rafting activities, train safari tours, city tours, zip-lining, water sports at Khanpur Lake and other activities in the province.
Published in The Express Tribune, January 14th, 2019.
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