Expelled Chitrali families win back Pakistani citizenship

A bench of the court, comprising Justice Mazhar Alam Miankhel and Justice Ghazanfar Ali Khan, gave  the ruling on a petition filed by the families through their counsel Muhibullah Terichvi Advocate. In the petition, the lawyer stated that in 1951 the then rulers of Chitral expelled the families belonging to Gahiret village as a punishment (reasons unknown) after which they moved to Afghanistan and settled there. When the Soviet Union invaded Afghanistan in the late 1970s, these 65 families along with millions of other people from Afghanistan migrated to Pakistan as refugees in 1982. The 65 families came back to Chitral and started living in a refugee camp along with Afghan refugees. When these Chitrali-origin people applied for national identity cards, their applications were turned down by the authorities concerned and later by the local courts on the ground that they had already been receiving rations and other facilities as Afghan refugees and could not claim the citizenship of Pakistan. The decisions of the courts in Chitral and the federal government’s delaying tactics were challenged in the PHC in 2011 by Ameer Sawat Khan through the senior lawyer, Mr Terichvi, which after conducting a number of hearings spanning many years announced its judgment today. The court directed the federal government to issue the families the Pakistani national identity cards and ensure them all other facilities as permissible under the Constitution for the citizens of the country.      ]]>

One Reply to “Expelled Chitrali families win back Pakistani citizenship”

  1. It must be noted that these families were not “‘Expelled”‘. They migrataed to Afghanistan in late 1940s and early 1950s and were settled in different districts of Afghanistan. Most of these people left during reign of Mehtar Saifurehman who was a constitutional monarch and didnt enjoy absolute powers like his ancestors. The state which was more or less governed by Pakistani political agent didnt expel them at all. These left on their own free well. Majority of these people were homeless tenants/peasants working on lands of different land lords. As they didnt own any property in Chitral, they thought mighrating to Afghanistan wil change their life styles. Apparanatly when these Chitrali families arrived in Kabul, a senior member of the Chitral royal family who was living there in Kabul and was very close to the Afghan adminstration requested the Afghan government to settle these Chitrali families. It is said that each Chitrali family was granted 60 canals or 30 chakorum land in different parts of Afghanistan. While some of the Chitrali families have returned to Chitral most of them still live in Afghanistan and are owners of the lands granted by the then royal Afghan government.

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