Chitral District

Trend Analysis




Area SqKms






Population Density / SqKm



Urban Population



Rural Population 



Total Housing Units



Housing Units having Electricity



Housing Units Having Piped Water



Housing Unit using Gas for cooking



Source: Pakistan Bureau of Statistics


Prima-facie, the economic development model for District of Chitral seems to rest on it being the nation’s ‘Hydro-Electric Farm’ ‘Clean Energy Farm’ plus being a ‘Gem, Jewelry and Light Mining Hub’. This is in addition to its well-recognized Tourism Destination. Establishment of an Economic Zone and the possibility of Free Trade Zone at Arandu will hold Chitral in good-stead, and give the province of KP an economically sustainable future.


 1. Hydro-Electricity Farm


Small running rivers and streams of Chitral give the district a distinct advantage of potentially producing excess hydro-electricity. Following highlights are of importance here:

  1. Current hydro power generation is 36 MW for district Chitral. Total hydroelectric investment potential (present capacity, feasibility study in completed & in progress, work in progress and surveyed) stands at around 1376.43 MW ( Ayun Gol 15.17 MW, Istaru-Booni 72 MW, Gahrit Swir Lasht 370 MW, Torcamp –Guddubar 409 MW, Mujigram – Shogor 64.26 MW, Kari Muskhur 446 MW) as per PEDO reports. There may be other potential sites also for hydropower generation but they have not yet been identified for potential investment.


  1. Hydropower generation potential.
  2. Surplus electricity production to be made available to National Grid in coming years.


Chitral can become one of the nation’s ‘Electricity Farms’, given the major potential it carries, especially in summer months. But following needs to be taken care of by PEDO;

  1. On priority bases, ensure that the current and medium-run (5 years) energy demand oflocal consumers is met first;
    • Identify and work on projects which have capacity to generate electricity.
    • In addition, some backup projects for current demand of electricity be initiated as well.
  2. For winters, when electricity supply would be low, make arrangements for alternative supply sources;
    • Supply of power from the National Grid.
    • Investigate the potential of bridging the supply gap with solar power.
  3. Implement plans for construction of Hydro Power Stations for excess electricity in future
    • Tenders be opened for their construction immediately.
    • Road and other communication infrastructure be improved for ease in supply of raw material.
  4. Undertake survey and planning for a HV Transmission Line between Chitral and Peshawar.
  5. Consider a local power generation and distribution company for Chitral which would be responsible for generating and distributing electricity to NTDC / Operator. It will give local ownership and take focus away from PESCO, as it has trouble managing such in far flung areas like Chitral.

2. Gem, Jewelry and Mining Sector


District of Chitral carries major development potential in this sector and can become ‘Gem, Jewelry and Mining Hub’. A systematic geological mapping and mineral exploration in Chitral was carried during 1974-78 and again from 1992-95 as per KP Mineral Development Department report (2014).

Following minerals and gemstones are found in the region:

  1. Chromite
  2. Granite (30,000 Million tonnes) and Marble (15,600 Million tonnes)
  3. Serpentine, Hematite, Aquamarine, Tourmaline / Blue Tourmaline, Quartz, Pegmatitehosted Beryl-Tourmaline-Topaz-Garnet clan, Almandine (Red) Garnet, Emerald.
  4. Copper, Gold
  5. Iron ore (160 tonnes), Lead (122 tonnes), soap stone (317 tonnes) – (2012-13 KP B. Statistics report)

Mining of Iron ore, Copper and Gold may be held back, soft-pedalled. The potential for other minerals has not been quantified yet. The decision to go for the development / extraction of these minerals need to be taken very thoughtfully and giving due attention to the impact on environment and Chitral’s ‘image’ and ‘brand’. Also, accessibility to market and heavy logistics issues will make Chitral’s Iron, Copper and Gold to be far less competitive than other sources – especially those in Baluchistan.

Bisbee Az
Metal Ore


  1. Rich in Gemstones and other minerals specially Marble and Granite which has high reserves in Chitral.


In order to overcome the above mentioned challenges faced by the industry, and make it more competitive for global market, following policy recommendations can be adopted:

  1. Make Chitral the ‘Hub of Gemstone based Jewelry Industry´ in Pakistan, with target exports to China, Western Europe and United States, where demand for such products is very high.
  2. Develop Chitral into one of the ‘Principle Marble & Granite suppliers´ for China and Gulf region. Chitral already has close proximity to the CPEC route. (China is the second largest importer of marble in the world, while U.A.E, Qatar and Bahrain are among the top ten importers of marble in Asia).
  3. Presently, a few small-scale mining operations are in progress mainly on marble. However, the region has abundant potential of other minerals, particularly metallic minerals and gemstones.
  4. Facilitation of private sector in opening up of state of the art mining queries and processing units would ensure high revenues for the district of Chitral.

3. Tourism and Hospitality Sector


The tourism industry of Chitral is comparatively well established but has potential to grow much more, given the history, landscape and fauna of this district. Following highlights should be noticed here as they make Chitral quite unique from tourism perspective:

  1. The Kalash valley of Chitral is not only famous for its exceptional beauty but for the people living there. The history of these people is very much mysterious, which makes them a perfect attraction point for archeological tourists.
  2. Chitral is a gateway region to Shandoor region; the place where the world’s famous Polo Festival is held every year, which makes an ideal resting spot for tourists.
  3. The District has array of exotic tourist spots on offer for visitors, including Trich Mir, Barmoglasht Resort, Garam Chasma, Ayun Valley, Koghazi and Goleen.
  4. In addition, there are natural spots for hiking and camping for the tourists.
  5. 13 different languages are spoken in by the people of Chitral.
Shandur Polo Ground Chitral


  1. Enchanting scenery that captivates the tourists round the country.
  2. As KP is known as the land of hospitality, the people of Chitral are hospitable.


Tourism Cooperation of Government of KP (TCKP) needs to take following steps to make Chitral hub of “Eco-Tourism” and “Archeological Tourism”:

  1. Initiate work on the development of tourism sector by taking following steps;
    • Coordinate with Provincial Transport Department and Communication Department to improve road and telecommunication setup in these areas on urgent basis.
    • Identify new locations for building of quality TCKP Guest houses and camping sites/pods for tourists in the area, and upgrade the existing ones.
    • Open tenders and invite private hospitality businesses to open their setups in the area, such as Serena, Avari, PC and Hilton etc.
    • Identify areas for construction of family theme parks, adventure parks and chair lifts etc. in these villages and invite private sector for investment.
  2. Preserve and develop above archeological site of Kalash;
    • Seek technical assistance from UNESCO and Agha Khan Foundation.
    • Develop a research institute or resource center to do research on the people and customs of people living in Kalash.
    • Invite private sector, through process of bidding, to develop resorts on these sites.
  3. Conduct research on other areas of the district and identify potential spots where feasible tourist resorts can be constructed in the long-run.
  4. Promote tourism for Chitral through promotion campaigns on TCKP website and Television Ads.
  5. Invite educational institutes of well repute offering academic programs or professional courses related to tourism and hospitality.

4. Forestry


Chitral is well resourced with forest cover, according to experts about 4.7% of the total area of the district was covered with forest, however it is depleting fast due to increase in population and development activities. As now, the local population use it mostly for fire wood. There is opportunity to earn some “carbon credits’ with the available forest, as developed countries have well exceeded their quota of carbon emission and hence can buy it from Pakistan.



  1. Well-resourced forest cover – latest forest plantation on 2409 hectares area (Billion tree afforestation project report,


The Government of KP can act upon following recommendations to increase the efficiency of this sector:

  1. Campaign of Planting Trees should be implanted in letter and spirit in the area.
  2. To completely curb the timber mafia, the forest guards should be equipped with modern facilities and their number should be increased as well.
  3. Government would also do well to ensure that all households have gas connections or other alternative fuel sources.
  4. The area under forest should be offered to international companies for carbon trading, through competitive bidding process;
    • The selected companies would be leased a selected portion of land under forest or land designated for plantation of forest.
    • Companies would primarily be responsible for protection of the forests. They could involve local community in this regard.
    • The revenue earned through carbon crediting would be shared appropriately between the companies, the Forest Department of KP and the locals.
  5. For the preservation of current forest reserves in the area, the Government should also collaborate with REDD+ Project in Pakistan (Reducing Emission from Deforestation and Forest Degradation), an initiative International Centre for Integrated Mountain Development and WWF-Pakistan or other projects of similar nature;
    • REDD+ Project officials would develop capacity development of all stakeholders in the area.
    • They would also provide consultancy to the stakeholders and independently monitor the progress of whole process.

5. Fish Farming


Chitral District has potential to bring substantial revenue for whole region in this sector. Currently, the district has one of the largest productions of fresh fish in the province (1362 M tons; 601 M tons of which is Trout). Given the quality and popularity of fishes produced by these small scale farms, there is an opportunity for KP Government and the District Administration to facilitate the fish farmers to grow into a big industry, with possibility of exporting these items.



  1. Substantial number of fish farms/production.


Government of KP along with District Administration can incentivize the growth of fish farming by taking following path:

  1. Directorate of Fisheries of KP should first help out the existing fisheries in modernization. Then, new potential spots be identified for Trout and non-trout fish farming and subsequently developed them.
  2. Provide trainings to farming community on modern and effective fish farming. In this regard, again help can be sought from international donor agencies, who have an experience dealing with local communities in these sectors.
  3. Companies that have specialty in ‘canned food’ can be invited to setup their units in Chitral Economic Zone –– in order to make fish an exportable commodity.

6. Chitral Economic Zone

Address: KPEZDMC Head Office, 128 Industrial Estate Jamrud road, Hayatabad, Peshawar KP
Contact Person: Ihtisham Iqbal (Manager Estate Office-Chitral)
Phone Number: +92 344 4333536

7. Conclusion

Chitral is offering investment opportunities in different sectors like establishing power stations, promote tourism industry, mining industry while Gemstones are the productions of Chitral. To facilitate sustainable economic growth of Chitral District, the Government of KP plans to establish a 40 Acre Economic Zone having proximity and easy access to the Chitral Airport, and on the main road giving it connectivity to CPEC Trade, to Afghanistan and the rest of Pakistan. The Chitral EZ will not only serve the economy of Northern KP Districts but also neighboring Afghanistan. After the completion of Chitral-Dushanbe trade route, the region will be provided with enormous new opportunities for trade while connecting to other Central Asian states.It is concluded that the commercial viability of Chitral district is very strong. Investments could be made there in different ventures as stated above which can generate promising revenues.