Muhammad Amin

Political barometer once again rises up in Chitral

By M. Amin Baloch

Abraham Lincoln had once said that democracy is “the government by the people, for the people and of the people”. This motto latter became an ideal definition of democracy and got universal acknowledgement throughout the world.

Pakistan was achieved after a long and hectic struggle by the Muslims of the Subcontinent to free themselves from the clutches of English and Hindus, led by Quaid-e-Azam Mohammad Ali Jinnah, also known as the father of the nation. Jinnah was a great champion of democracy.

Unfortunately, this great constitutionalist was destined to live for a short period and died only a few years after independence. His sudden death left a great vacuum in the political evolution of Pakistan. Different political actors played havoc with the nascent democracy. This political gap was filled only by Zulfikar Ali Bhutto. He gave the people of Pakistan their genuine political rights as defined by the late American president Abraham Lincoln. Unfortunately, he also did fall victim to international and political conspiracy and maneuvering.

Chitral also got its share during the rule of Bhutto (Shaheed). The people of Chitral for the first time came to know about their political rights as citizens of Pakistan. He gave the masses their political rights to voting, association and expression etc. Buhtto also declared people the real owner of government. In the past, various tactics were used to destabilize PPP in Chitral like others parts of the country. But the dedicated political workers and local leadership bravely resisted the storms and the current provincial elections bear witness to that.

During the whole elections, opposition parties claimed that PPP will not win a single seat from Chitral. It was a critical choice for the PPP in the presence of General (r) Musharaf, because he had done a great job to the people of Pakistan by initiating work on the Lowari Tunnel. He had also earned the title of Mohsin-e-Chitral from the masses. In such a situation, winning seats from Chitral was a herculean task for other parties, including PPP. However, the election results turned to be quite different with PPP winning the provincial assembly seat from lower Chitral and again bagging the PA upper seat in the by-election when court disqualified Haji Ghulam Muhammad. Both these achievements proved to be a feather in the cap of Salim Khan, as president PPP district Chitral.

The people of Chitral are politically activated. They are also honest and sincer. Racial, ethnical and religious aspects cannot influence their political decision making as the PPP is a pro-poor party. A comprehensive study of PPP’s history in the district indicates that party tickets have always been given to workers belonging to middle and poor classes. Salim Khan and Hakim Khan Advocate are brilliant examples. They both gave to the party a right direction during the whole political process.

Currently, Haji Ghulam Muhammad has leveled allegations against Salim Khan MPA and in tat for tat Salim Khan has fired back. Leveling of tiny allegations like building of houses in Peshawar and Sen Lasht does not qualify mishandling/corruption of development funds. In Chitral, a man of average income builds a good house. As far I understand Salim Khan has not purchased any luxurious house in Islamabad, Peshawar etc. In Peshawar, he only lives in a tiny house owned by his elder brother. It is very necessary for the political leadership of Chitral to exercise political maturity and forbearance.

All political parties should refrain from political harangue and leg pulling. Without proof one cannot accuse others of bribery and corrupt practices as strictly forbidden in Islam and the constitution of Pakistan. We should all work for the development of Chitral (our dharti) without any bias and hypocricy.And this is the need of time.

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