Saturday, February 24, 2024

Professional Journeys’ Narrative – 20

Summer temperature had been increasing day by day and under the circumstances a special tour program had been worrying me quite a lot. This tour program was for north of Koh e Sultan, near Afghanistan border. Thinking about this program during the hot weather had been worrying me more and more. According to information the area was completely barren and sandy. Even in colonial rule, the British people could not dare to install the boundary pillars for the two countries. No sandy desert animal existed there. Zar Muhammad surveyor was a person of very sound courage. He had volunteered to work in that area. The very first problem was how to search the camp of Mr. Zar Muhammad in that area where there was no reference marks existing. Anyway with confidence in Almighty’s help, I started for the site along with my small team. There was a security check post about 10 kilometers north of Nukundi. Its name was Mashki Chah. The very name of the post informed that there was a well of drinking water over there. Track to Mashki Chah was very difficult for vehicle. Speed of the vehicle could not be increased beyond 8 to 10 kilometers per hour. On the way, there was a very narrow hilly pass through which the vehicle could only move at snail’s pace. On the right side there was a vertical cliff and on the left side there was a vertical fall into a ditch. The people who carved the passage through this pass put in every effort to widen it as far as possible. But the rock was almost harder than steel. I think they had prepared this track through pass only for a small jeep and for the camels. Our larger vehicle could hardly pass through it. The frontline security post named Ameer Chah is the end of this track. There is a small fort in Ameer Chah for the residence and vigilance by the security people. This fort is situated at the distance of 18 kilometers south of the border. North of this security fort, there is sandy desert as far as anybody can see.


Passing of our big vehicle through this narrow hilly pass was just a miracle. Just before entering the pass, all members of my team left the vehicle. Only myself remained in the vehicle with the driver. I think the companions were right. There was no sense in putting all the lives to risk. A mistake of only 3 inches could drop the vehicle into the ditch on left side. Just before risking the vehicle and himself, the driver calmly fixed his eyes on the dangerous part of the track and then he started the vehicle. Just at the most dangerous location of the track, the driver used to hold his breath. The reason for my remaining in the vehicle was not about the matter of bravery. It was simply to support the senses of the driver that ‘you are not alone in this death spot’.

We reached Ameer Chah in the fore noon. Zar Muhammad and his team were wise enough to wait for me at a definite place. We both discussed about the journey by camels and decided to start in the afternoon when the atmospheric temperature became a bit mild. Vehicle could not cross the sand dunes just north west of Ameer Chah and our journey was west of these sand dunes. Our cook prepared the midday meals and also prepared something for the night because this journey by camels was no less than 8 hours period and we estimated that we shall be reaching the desired spot of working just two hours before early in the morning. It is very easy to state 8 hours of journey on camel back but it was a matter of extreme hardship for the whole human body. The camel men knew the area as well as its hardships. Local Baloch responsible for supplying us water was a 35 years old man, 6 feet tall and of very fair color. He had a very sound well built body. Seeing him one could be confident that he knows his highly sensitive responsibility.  ——— To be continued…

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Category: Travel

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