Col Ikram Ullah Chitral

Shandur and Google Earth imagery

Col (r) Ikram Ullah Khan

Today, I saw a post by a very respectable friend from Ghizer whom I prefer not to name, showing Google Earth mapping, and claiming Shandur to be part of GB on that basis.

For his kind information, let me explain that Google Earth is a computer generated app designed to present a 3D representation of Earth primarily with the help of satellite imagery. This is an Earth-mapping program that is based on aerial photography, satellite imagery and Geographic information System sometime called Global Information System, (GIS) data, all of these being susceptible to gross human manipulation (this particular point to be noted) and doesn’t make the Gospel truth. This program has always remained the butt of objections and challenges and hence, not to be taken as an authority. One can do Earth depiction/mapping according to one’s own choice. 

So my respected brother shouldn’t think that he has come up with any new idea making an impregnable proof of Shandur’s ownership by GB. It sounds not only amusing but bemusing too to see some of my friends from GB, previously taking shelter under “Watershed” theory and now finding solace in Google Earth. What a flimsy proof of Shandur’s ownership! However, there is no restriction on dreaming which, I am pretty sure, will one day, turn into a nightmare for my friends from GB. 

I would advise them to provide some tangible documentary evidence before the honourable Chief Court of GB where the case has been pending for the last more than a decade. They know it very well that they have no evidence; and sensing their defeat, they requested the court to pend the verdict and the court ordered to maintain the status quo a few years back thus implicitly acknowledging that the people of GB have failed to produce convincing evidence to prove their ownership thereby establishing that Shandur is owned by the people of Chitral and has remained under their bonafide ownership since time immemorial. So they need to remain content with the status quo. 

I would request the political point-scorers from GB side not to spoil the long-standing brotherly relationships between the people of Ghizer and Chitral just to keep themselves politically alive. The people of Ghizer and Laspur have blood relations and both sides have intermarriages. Rest assured that the status of Shandur would remain as it is, and no power on earth can alter the existing position.

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