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Snow turns northern Pakistan into winter wonderland
January 14, 2019

The current spell of snowfall has transformed Pakistan’s northern region into a winter wonderland. The panoramic views of snow-laden trees, frozen lakes and cosy cottages have compelled tourists to rush to the north to enjoy the fresh snow while getting their perfect Instagram pictures.

The powdery white layer in Skardu, Kalam, Malam Jabba, Murree, Chitral and nearby areas, enhanced the landscape, drawing thousands of visitors despite extreme weather conditions. Many people stopped their vehicles on the way to Nathia Gali (a resort town in Abbottabad) to take pictures. Among them was Maria Ahmad, a tourist from Islamabad.

Ice walk in Khunjerab National Park in Gilgit Baltistan.

“I’ve never seen so much snow and frost before. It’s like watching those stunning winter photos come alive,” Ahmad told Gulf News. “I had a snowball fight with my siblings after which we built an entire family of snowmen.”

The weather sparked excitement through social media where people shared hundreds of photos and videos of snow-blanketed towns.

Snow laden pine trees in Kalam in northern Pakistan.

The first snowfall of 2019 was more than just a photo opportunity for travellers as it stranded several motorists, led to traffic jams and delayed some flights.

To facilitate tourists, police devised a comprehensive traffic plan, issued traffic advisories, and announced a 24/7 helpline while constantly rescuing vehicles stuck in snow, said Chief Traffic Officer Rawalpindi, Mohammad Bin Ashraf.

Since last weekend, over 100,000 vehicles entered Murree, a popular tourist destination located nearly 50km away from Islamabad. In the travel advisory, police asked tourists to come fully prepared for the snowy hills by storing extra fuel, charged batteries, tow and snow chains. Police also advised drivers to be extra careful while snapping selfies.

The Motorway police requested people to avoid unnecessary travelling due to heavy fog and low visibility.

Pakistan-China border, Khunjerab Pass, is the highest paved international border at an altitude of 15,500 feet.

Courtesy Gulf News: