MNA from disconnected Chitral warns to break away from Pakistan

ISLAMABAD, Jan 5: Highly frustrated over the government’s apathy towards the suffering of the people of Chitral, MNA Iftikharuddin has threatened that if the government continued ignoring the area the Chitralis would have no other option but to break away from Pakistan and join the neighbouring Afghanistan with which the valley is connected through all-weather routes.

Iftikhar Uddin MNA from Chitral
Shahzada Iftikharuddin

Talking to an Urdu newspaper in Islamabad, the MNA said his area people remained stranded and for the last over two months he had been writing to the prime minister to get the communication issues resolved but got no response.

He said due to the closure of the only land route to and from Chitral through the Lowari pass, over 8,000 people remained stranded on both sides of the under-construction tunnel while the lives of many people were at risk. Our rights are being trampled only because we have adopted the path of peace and never resorted to breaking the law, he regretted.

He said the opening of the tunnel for just three hours a day that too twice a week was a joke with the people of the valley, adding the tunnel still remained incomplete and the passageway was full of water and debris. All this showed the government is not interested in resolving the issues of the people of Chitral. To get the tunnel project completed, there is a need for the allocation of at  least three to five billion rupees every year while the government was setting aside hardly one billion rupees per year. The MNA  said at present the under-construction tunnel was not suitable for travel as there was standing water inside and the passageway was without any exhaust system. But even then, the people have no other option to reach their destinations. In case of patients and transportation of dead bodies, the residents of Chitral were facing trouble but the government seemed unmoved by the human sufferings.  

The MNA said being the only representative of Chiral in parliament he had been writing to the prime minister for over two months but got no response. He said he had been pushed to the wall.

“Our rights are being trampled and there is no one to come to our rescue.”

It may be noted that Chitral was one of the few princely states that announced to join Pakistan in 1947 without any preconditions. But for the last over six decades the rulers in Islamabad have  criminally ignored Chitral and as a result today the valley lacks even basic necessities of life.

The gravity of the situation can be gauged from the fact that the soft-spoken and highly educated MNA has to issue such a harsh statement after becoming so much discouraged by the government’s apathy towards the issues of Chitral.

37 Replies to “MNA from disconnected Chitral warns to break away from Pakistan”

  1. I think We should consider joining China or Central asian countries rather joining Afghanistan where situation is worse than Pakistan..

  2. It is my first time to visit this page and have the honor to read all the comments passed on by the gentlemen. I call them gentlemen because only gentle and caring people care about us and of course our army. We have seen ourselves like goats and sheep a small herd belonging to the rich and famous politicians of my beloved nation, and some even called us rats. My dear brothers and sisters of this nation, have we not shown ourselves to be good citizens of Pakistan. See for your self each and every Chitrali, who work as personal servant of some sith, a salesman, a government servant have never been charged of any sort of unfaithfulness, wrongdoing or corruption. Let alone our Chitral Scouts jawans who fought along with our Army and still fighting. And our politicians still treat us like goats and rats even we abide by all the rules and regulations under our constitution. Tunnel tunnel, if we are not getting this simple demand what about our lives. Even our existence is at stake. People are threatening us. Media and even foreign papers have disclosed that Chitral is under severe threat. We have troubled nobody and I am all with Iftikharuddin our beloved MNA.

  3. Now one can understands the Chitralis frustration
    The News Jan 14 page 2 highlights
    Khattak says PM not responding to his request for meeting..on the other hand he meets his brother frequently
    PESHAWAR: Khyber Pakhtunkhwa Chief Minister Pervez Khattak on Monday said that the prime minister had not given him time for a meeting despite PTI request which he made three months ago…so much so for asheerbads and Goodness one needs to pass a assembly resolution to just get a briefing.
    The PML N and PPP when in power do nothing about Lowari but when out of government they raise a lot of hue and cry. Long before winter set in, the tunnel opening issue was highlighted by the DCO the KPK govt and the MNA but there has been no positive response by the federal government.

  4. Frustration shouldn’t go to that extent because of government negligence towards our agony. We understand that our MNA is a young man and may get emotional to see the people suffering but he should understand that he represents a peaceful, tolerant and educated community (Chitralis) and must not cross the limits with his personal manifestation. The people of Chitral elected him with the mandate to represent Chitral in the Parliament of Pakistan with the constitutional obligation to safeguard its boundaries ideologically and physically. What he said is not a “business usual” therefore he should revisit the people’s opinion (according to the constitutional format.

  5. Junaid Khan Katoor is trying to please the young MNA and that’s all. The statement of MNA Iftikharuddin is meant to get the sympathies of innocent Chitralis as he miserably failed to get the ‘asheerbad’ of Nawaz Sharif. The reason Nawaz didn’t pay much attention to Iftikhar was that his father, former MNA Mohiddin, betrayed him after the 1999 coup. His threat to join Afghanistan is no different than that of his father who had a few years back declared to revive the cruel rule of Chitral state. The handful of Katoors are free to go to Afghanistan as some of their relatives are already taking refuge there. We are proud Pakistanis and will snatch our rights. We will never run away towards Afghanistan.

    1. @Ahmad, please take some English classes to understand what the MNA really meant. Don’t take his statement literally and stop getting personal with every commentator on this website. The MNA just tried to drive the government’s attention issue toward the sufferings and deprivation of basic rights of Chitralis. Don’t try to make a joke of it, Mr. Ahmad Fake.
      Learn some ethics before commenting! I don’t know why the editor of this website posts every nonsensical and irrelevant comments of yours.
      Good luck!

      1. @Junaid: Dear Mr ‘ORIGINAL, made in China’, before reccomending me for English classes, you better learn how to become a good debater. Let me tell you honestly that you can’t become a good debater how hard you try. There is very clear intent behind whatever you are doing and that is to pave the way for your entry into SRSP which has already been turned into a graveyard of Shazdagan. So better stay quite and keep your worthy advises, which carry no weight, in your pocket. And yes, come prepared if you wanna listen more.

  6. Pointless debate! Government has already opened the tunnel for 2 days a week. The problem has been solved. What’s the debate for?

    1. Yes, pointless debate and pointless threat by the MNA. Mr Junaid you are the only Chitrali who is satisfied with the government work and think that the MNA had threatened to break away from Pakistan just for nothing, bravo.

  7. Before making such a controversial statement that is against the temperament of the patriotic people of Chitral our MNA should have presented Chitral’s case forcefully. You never speak a word with logic and argument in the assembly and when you are given a chance on media you turn out to be short of words. And then you burst with such an absurd warning to make the whole Chitrali people a laughing stock. Remember the days of the 80s and back are gone and we are now living in the 21st century. Secondly, most of the commentators seem supporting your stance but they are not your sympathizer. I know these coward Chitralis will never express any sympathy let alone come out and support you if you are in trouble due to your irrational utterances. Keep safe.

    1. Mr Tanveer Ahmed, surely everyone will be joining Kashmir but first the Kashmiris have to get their own status recognized and bring the two divided parts of their homeland together before inviting others.

  8. This is the only way out. For the last 48 years we have been waiting to get connected with rest of the country through an all weather route, but to our dismay this not happening.

  9. It is right way to put pressure on the government. This type of demand should have been made much earlier. We still consider that if the government does not provide basic facilities to us, there is no reason to be a part of Pakistan. We can make our own country. We need development but not a so-called slogan.

  10. There should be public debate whether the MNA should seek fresh mandate to negotiate with Govt of Pakistan or move Supreme Court over non-compliance/denial of equal rights to Chitralis. Remember Ataabad Lake in Gojal there are less than 30,000 people living there but how much has been spent on boat/helicopter services for them. Why so stingy with Chitralis? I hope this will piss off the Babus in Islamabad and something will get done.

  11. The restoration of the Islamic Republic of Chitral is good for us, because we are liberal minded people and we are able to build very good relationship to the whole world.

  12. I would like to support and appreciate the statement of MNA as there is no other options except to separate from Pakistan because rulers the of country have always neglected the Chitral since independent.

  13. The whole country from Sindh to KPK terms Musharraf a dictator, in violation of basic human rights, an oppressor (Lal Masjid and Bugti) and a traitor under article 6 of the constitution. Yet, only we Chitralis have termed him Muhsin-e-Chitral and love him and then expect the world or the country to take us seriously. What an irony.
    Before talking of breaking out from Pakistan due to Lowari Tunnel I would suggest our respected MNA to visit his home and ask his dad this basic question. ‘Abu, work on the tunnel was initially started by Bhutto and after Bhutto you have been representing Chitral in National Assembly all the way. Your party had been in government two times with you as MNA and once as Federal Minister, what did you do for the tunnel and for the apathy of the people of Chitral????’

  14. Our MNA sounds very frustrated and he is rightly so as he is treated very badly by the PMLN Govt despite his support for the PM. Supporting a dictator in the elections was a bad oversight on the part of Chitralis. While the Gen should be given credit for the tunnel, electing a lone candidate for Musharraf in the Assembly with PMLN in majority was clearly asking for trouble. I agree with one of the comments above that our MNA should resign and contest by polls as currently he has been not in any position to do anything. He is a respectable and educated man but in the current circumstances it is not good for Chitral if he lingers on in the Assembly for five years and chanting Musharraf Zindabad slogan.

  15. It is good the MNA has finally awaken from slumber and “for once an MNA has spoken out like a man” thus commented a thorough gentleman from Chitral. I join Fardad Ali Shah in his observation yet wonder if this is real awakening?
    If the MNA really for once means to redeem the honour of Chitralis would he be willing to take the next step any honourable gentleman would do?
    Tender his resignation to Speaker National Assembly thus forcing by election, he will Insha Allah get re-elected unopposed if not that then with record breaking lead. Elected with single point agenda then No Babu from NHA will ever dare to Humiliate Chitralis.
    With fresh mandate the MNA will have a valid case even for secession. Chitral joined Pakistan without any preconditions. Treatment of Chitralis at par with other citizens is implied condition and valid grounds for revoking accession instrument signed by Mehtar of Chitral. A landslide victory is all which is required for MNA to protect the interests of Chitrali people.
    If he is not going to take fresh and clear mandate from Chitralis on Lowari Tunnel issue then …? Ok cut him some slack, let us give him time for now and see the role of PTI on this issue.
    PTI is the ruling party of KPK/Chitral how much Chitral and Lowari Tunnel is important for them, has anyone thought about it? Please check or see if you can find anything about Lowari Tunnel there. All these news appearing in Chitrali media about CM and PTI officials concerned about Lowari Tunnel seem to be [I hate the word please suggest better] “fake” if it is real then why complete blackout from official sites?
    Only news you will come across is source for this:
    Few weeks back this was update reported, note the amounts:
    Situation seems depressing yet I would recommend trying following:
    1 – The MNA should ask for day by day progress report of work being done in the tunnel since 1st of July till date. Let this info be published here for everyone to see what is going on. We want to see all this sufferings and hardships are for what.
    2 – The MNA can ask for actual status of 3 Billion CM announced for Lowari Tunnel Project. I hope he can ask this under Right to information project PTI has launched, I tried hard but no link for on-line request else would have done this myself. If any one know’s the link then please post.
    3 – Can we find a probono lawyer in Chitral if not then we hire and pay the fee [ I will contribute if others join – editor has my contact ] to file Contempt Case. No need to wait for Suo Moto action to save some money, we should act with dignity to protect our rights and not behave like beggars. Among respondents I think the boss of NHA [The Prime Minister] and boss of administration [The Chief Minister] should be named, no need to mention small fry.
    If we cannot do these simple civil acts then all this talk about secession is just what we all know and are afraid to name it.
    Mashgoll Alam

  16. Thank you, Dr Khalil and Fazal, for diverting the issue. If you like we do not appreciate the strong words of MNA and should live in Chitral and buy atta at Rs4000 or why not Rs8,000. Then drag the sick over the pass or why not let them rot, so what if we miss out on university examinations or job appointments. Meat we can’t afford to buy, and the few vegetables we were delighted to get… Well we can eat grass forget the basic necessities we can fast. It’s our country and if Lowari has to close for six months for next six years so what. Who needs Lowari, why waste money over here use it elsewhere in Pakistan where the population is more and deserving. Zindabad, Zindabad Chitralis, politics for the sake of politics, personal likes and dislikes who cares about the stranded Chitralis. The Gilgitis are a different breed if they stand together “as one” for a regional cause its their way of life. We Chitralis love “Daikan dik “ our national trait, let’s live to it. The MNA spoke harshly only to wake the authorities to the suffering of the people of Chitral nothing more nothing less. Well done iftikhar Sahib, you are straight forward and a honest man Chitral and Pakistan needs people like you.

  17. During the Khilafat Movement in India, a group of Muslims migrated to Afghanistan from the United India being frustrated from prevailing situation.They hardly passed few days there and then returned to India.Secondly,had Afghanistan been a suitable place to live in, two and a half million Afghans would have preferred to return from Pakistan.They are still stranded in various parts of Pakistan.The Government of Pakistan, including Pakistan Army and PTI Government in KP, have played an important role in resolving the Lowari problem amicably. On the basis of arrogance on the part of the National High Authority, such statement is not justified specifically when he (MNA) is not representing the overwhelming majority of Chitralis.

    1. Yes Qazi Fazal Elahi Saheb, you are right. We cannot go anywhere, we are stuck between the devil and the deep blue sea.

  18. Nobody would ever think of joining a country like Afghanistan nor anyone would be allowed. But the message of the MNA is clear and it should not be taken anything else like a sign of frustration among all the people of Chitral. It means that the way the successive governments expect a few like Musharraf, have been treated us is worse than a marginalized people in a country like Afghanistan.

  19. Iftikhar used to be a well-behaved man, as the people of Chitral have voted Musharraf and we know Gen Musharraf (Mohsin e Chitral) is facing political problems these days. We still strongly support him, we don’t expect any thing from Gen. Musharraf in tough time he is passing through, hance Iftikhar sahab (highly educated) does’t need to be upset about his performance. If still he wants to break away from Pakistan and willing to join Afghanistan, why not he can take all his clan with him. We are born as Pakistani and Insha Allah will die as Pakistani.

  20. Iftikhar voted for Nawaz Sharif in National Assembly but in return got nothing. He had been claiming that he was in contact with this and that but today he realized that things are never done that way. He had made a big mistake by blindly supporting the government.

  21. Our big crime is our sharafat. Look at people of Gilgit-Baltistan they are much better off because they fight for their rights and have unity. They get 100 kg wheat bags for less than 1500 rupees and we are forced to buy the dirt at Rs4000. Just cross over the Sandur pass and you will see the difference. I appreciate the stance of our MNA, there is no other way to put these corrupt government agencies like NHA on right path. We love our country but Pakistani rulers have always violated our rights. What one can expect from Nawaz Sharif when he is on record criticizing Musharraf for constructing the Lowari tunnel. Soon after coming from self-exile, he had said that Musharraf is constructing a big tunnel for rats. This man needs the treatment which Musharraf did with him in 1999. By not even responding our MNA, Nawaz Sharif has insulted the whole people of Chitral.

  22. Hold your horses Mr Iftikhar MNA. When there is 1.5 foot snow on Lowari top your people report 5-6 feet. They can do so much but the people of Chitral just want to sit on it. Fiber optic is being laid and people are working day and night to complete the tunnel. I was there, I saw them working on the tunnel and on three mini-dams. I also witnessed the old bridge at Denin being swept away in a flash flood. I also saw its almost overnight replacement courtesy Pakistan Army engineers. I’d say things could be much worse so stop over reacting.

  23. For once an MNA has spoken out like a man. We hope he stands up to his position, though talk of secession is an expression of extreme frustration and only symbolic but the fact is that the government treats Chitralis as sub-humans as we see in the tunnel case. If an MNA cannot solve a most basic and critical problem, this is the least he can do. Well done MNA Iftikhar.

  24. This kinds of statements are not the solution to the problems. Everyone knows about the Afghan situation. The KPK govt took a positive initiative but the ball is now in the court of the federal government.

  25. I totally agree with the MNA. The government has taken the Chitralis for granted and the situation for us is like worse than Afghanistan. Are we not the citizens of this country, what the rulers want us to do. Do they want us to pick arms like the people of Balochistan. Not responding to the letter of the MNA means damn caring about the people of Chitral who have been insulted only because they are peaceful people. Enough is enough and it is time we should stand up and snatch our rights.

  26. A very bad suggestion by the MNA. To join Afghanistan is like to go to hell. Pakistan is our country and we should not be so selfish as to break away from it because the government is not doing anything for us. The government is, in fact, not doing anything for any part of the country, except central Punjab.

    1. The government will not move otherwise. This is the right way of getting the government’s attention. What do you think, will we join Afghanistan?

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