CHITRAL: The building of Mastuj police station in Upper Chitral district has been awaiting reconstruction for a long time.
It was abandoned after being damaged by the 2005 earthquake and the police station was shifted to the offices of the resident magistrate as a makeshift arrangement.
The residents said that the mud building of the police station dated back to 1958 when it was established by the then princely state of Chitral but it was not concreted.
Mohammad Yousuf, a senior lawyer from Mastuj town, said at the time of shifting of the police station, the post of extra-assistant commissioner/resident magistrate was abolished as part of the power devolution plan but when the post of the additional assistant commissioner was created for Mastuj, no building was available for it.
He said due to its topographic position at the confluence of the valleys of Laspur and Yarkhun leading to Broghil, Mastuj town had been given importance by the past rulers, including the British people, who made it one of their power centres after annexing Chitral in 1895.
He said even during the rule of Katur family (1570-1969), Mastuj was treated as a province and was ruled by a governor and that it included the valleys of Laspur up to Shandur, and valleys of Yarkhun and Broghil.
The lawyer regretted that no additional assistant commissioner had been posted to Chitral’s vast area, including three valleys, for 20 years and the residents had to travel to Booni, which was more than five hours away.
He said the ACC’s post was sanctioned many years ago but as there were no offices, he had to work at the district headquarters of Booni as the official building was being used as the police station.
When contacted, deputy commissioner of Upper Chitral Mohammad Ali said an officer recently posted to Mastuj as the AAC refused to join duty and returned to Peshawar to get himself transferred to down districts.
Published in Dawn, August 23rd, 2021 (Zahiruddin)