Govt officers make beeline to placate terrified Kalash tribe

CHITRAL, Feb 23: After the issuance of threat to the Kalash tribe and the non-governmental organizations run by the Aga Khan Development Network (AKDN), there has been a beeline of government and military officers for  Chitral, especially the Kalash valleys. CommsioA day earlier, a peace jirga was held at Bumburate in which the representatives of the Ismaili Muslims and the Kalash tribe were invited by the deputy commissioner and other officials. On Sunday, general officer commanding (GOC) Swat Maj-Gen Syed Javed Bukhari visited the Kalash valleys and assured the residents that the military was on alert to provide them full protection. The same day, Commissioner Malakand Division Afsar Jan accompanied by the deputy commissioners of Lowar and Upper Dir districts reached Chitral and was driven to the Bumburate valley where a ‘grand peace jirga’ was arranged. The commissioner while addressing the notables of the Kalash valleys said that the video in which the Taliban had warned the Kalash people to convert to Islam or face death was totally fake and outdated. He said it was an international conspiracy to cerate fear and uncertainty among the residents of the valley. The commissioner also said that there was no threat to the indigenous Kalash tribe who were known the world over. Kalash social worker Shahi Gul Bibi on the occasion presented traditional gifts of the area to the guests. Former union council nazim from the area Abdul Majeed Qureshi said that the government besides ensuring security of the area should also provide employment to the youth to end rising sense of deprivation among them.]]>

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