Why Chitralis are looked down upon?

By Prof. Rahmat Karim Baig

This short article is to draw intention of the high ups of the KP government and the bureaucracy who use tactics to evade Chitrali applicants who travel from Upper Chitral to Peshawar – a distance of more than 500 km on highly risky and rough roads for a piece of work.

I have myself and so many of my fellow Chitralis have suffered this rough treatment. We are hated by ordinary Pathans because we cannot speak Pushto fluently. It is our fault that Pushto is not spoken in Chitral because we have got our own Khowar language and that is dear to us -even to non Khowar speakers.

  • Do Pathans hate us because we have come here to snatch jobs from them?
  • Do they treat us roughly because we don Chitrali dress?
  • Do they abhor on the ground that we seek unskilled jobs in their areas?
  • Do they treat Chitralis and their local issues with hate because they consider Chitralis as a burden on their budget?
  • Do they think we are not one of their ethnic groups and have a separate culture and identity?
  • Do they hate the idea that we live on the border and high altitude parts of the province and for that reason have no rights?
  • We find very rough things going on around us in many parts of the province and cannot participate in brawls that are common in the culture of the majority.
  • Do they think that they can exploit us because Chitralis are less in number and few representation in the elected bodies?
  • Last year, PDMA officials rejected our application for allocation of funds for the construction of a protection wall to save the building of Government High School Zondrangram and gave a written reply assigning an outlandish plea that PDMA has no fund for rehabilitation works (in Chitral) otherwise they would have given positive reply had it been an issue of Dir or Swat or Mardan but as far as Chitral is concerned it does not qualify for Chitral has no value. I have got much more bitter incidences of Chitrali – Pathan aspect of co existence.


My trust in a fair play by the majority towards Chitral is crashed and blasted.

8 Replies to “Why Chitralis are looked down upon?”

  1. If you do not be strong to defend yourself you will fall a prey to the strong. It is not the matter of language but seeking own share. Be a PhD in Pushto but if you do not fight for own rights will make you devoid of them.
    If we Chitralis are not properly given our rights it is not the question of Pashto but the lack of justified distribution in Pakistani government system. Otherwise, in social matters Pathans in downtown areasfirst care for Chitralis saying give him first being our guests.

  2. #Amjad Shah .. Almost all of them , if one can not speak the language like them , we are discussing language , discrimmination is practiced under cover if not openly .. particulrly in all european countries ..

  3. Respected Prof Sir. Learning the language of mainstream of society is very essential, even here in western world, those who cannot speak local language suffer in countries like Canada and USA, famous for the multicultural societies. It is not fair to judge the situation on the basis of looking at one side of the picture, we must be realistic and fair, and accept that we as Chitrlies in common and the Ismaili community in particular think about the Pathans in the angle as they do. The benefiters of Ismaili community are mostly sitting down in Karachi where the Pathns are not really liked specially by khwajas. Same is our behavior with Pathans in Chitral. I strongly recommend including Pashto in teaching curriculum of each every school in Chitral as it was there when we were in high school. Taking the opportunity of the topic under discussion, I will let everyone in Chitral that in Developed countries of the world the ethnicity discrimination is very prominent. I have spent time in Europe, there the French never like the English speakers, the Germans don’t like French language, the same is the situation between Dutch and Belgium and so on so we have to accept that speaking Urdu with Pathan in not less than a social crime, if we want to be treated equally we must do our best to read write, and speak Pashto fluently, the answer of the series of questions you have asked is “yes” and that yes is everywhere in the world even here in Country like USA and Canada and Europe as I mentioned.

    1. Good to read a sensible post from Dr Khalil for a change. Specially where he has not been disrespectful to anybody or gone to extreme with his views, but has aired his points sensibly and coolly.

    2. @Dr khalil….how many of these societies you mentioned use majority to exploit, deprive and intimidate the minorities?. Discrimination is a taboo ,not like in Pakistan ,where it,s a tool to help the ambitions of majority. You can learn as many languages you want but that will not necessarily put you at par with the majority for opportunities you deserve. Yes ,offcourse, you will get the cook or driver job.

      1. Moreover unlike expatriates in Western countries, we have been the indigenous people of the area we call home . The new state was supposed to give equal rights irrespective of colour, language ,race or religion. Yeha Manzil unko mili jo shareek_e_safar na they…

  4. ….Being an ethnic minority always comes with a great price ,especially in Pakistan. The scenario keeps changing from north to south, with the effectees changing also. It,s worse for chitralees because we still look beyond Lowari to find a political connection and voice.

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *