CHITRAL, Feb 21: To allay the sense of insecurity among the Kalash tribe in the wake of the Taliban threats, the Chitral Scouts and the district administration arranged a meeting of the local people in Bumburate valley on Friday.
The gathering was presided over by Col Naeem Iqbal, the commandant of Chitral Scouts. Among others, the ‘grand peace jirga’ was attended by Deputy Commissioner Chitral Mohammad Shuaib Jadoon, District Police Officer Ghulam Hussain, commanding officer Major Murtaza and other officers of the army unit deployed on the Pak-Afghan border near Kalash valley.
A large number of elites from Kalash, Ismaili and Sunni communities also attended the event. Addressing the peace gathering, Col Iqbal said Chitral Scouts, the Chitral police, border police, elite force and Pakistan Army had been deployed on all borders and they were on red alert to meet any untoward situation. He said the security forces were compatible to encounter any threat.
He said the local people need not to worry about the threat from Taliban. He said the video in which the Taliban had purportedly threatened the Kalash tribe and the Ismaili Muslims of Chitral was about three years old and it had emerged in 2011. But as it was projected in the media the Supreme Court of Pakistan took suo motu notice. He said the local people should promote unity and never allow any hidden hand to disturb their unity and harmony in which they had lived for centuries.
Elites from the Sunni and Ismaili communities and the Kalash tribe on the occasion said they were fully hopeful that they would be provided full security of life by the security forces. They suggested deployment of intelligence personnel to collect information about newcomers to Chitral. They also urged the government to construct the main roads to the Kalash valleys which were damaged in flooding last year.
They demanded preference to the youth of the area in the recruitment in border security force, police, Chitral Scouts. They said through these steps the sense of deprivation among the youth of the area could be lessened and they could be better prepared to fight of anti-peace elements.
They also demanded opening of separate schools for girls because there were no girls schools. The deputy commissioner said the district government was already working on the development of the Kalash valley and had approved a hostel for 100 students and three mega projects in annual development plan.
Those who spoke on the occasion included Barzangi, Saifullah, Pehlwan and Wazir.