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Jirga expresses concerns over threat to Chitral’s peace

Gul Hamad Farooqui

CHITRAL: In the wake of the attack by Taliban terrorists from Afghanistan on Chitral Scouts posts in Bumburate and Jinjiret border areas, a pall of gloom has descended on Chitral from Arandu to Broghil. Four Chitral Scouts Jawans were martyred and scores of other injured in the terror attacks on September 6.

Chitral is an ideal peaceful area visited by thousands of domestic and foreign tourists every year, most of them attracted by the Kalash community.

While people of Chitral are worried about the danger to the exemplary peace of the area, a grand peace Jirga was organized on the call of Jamaat-e-Islami on Thursday.

Leaders of all political and religious parties and people from both the Sunni and Ismaili communities participated in the peace Jirga in a large number.

Addressing the Jirga, the elders said people of Chitral had always been loyal to Pakistan and the army. But every Chitrali is worried after the Taliban infiltration into Chitral areas and killing of Chitral Scouts personnel. They said there were so many agencies working in Chitral, but despite that no measures were taken to prevent the infiltration of the terrorists.

The speakers said the basic duty of Chitral Levies (border police) was to protect borders, but the entire force was deployed in the offices of the deputy commissioner and assistant commissioner and some even in their residences. 

The speakers said Kalash people having the world’s only and unique culture were living in Chitral. Tourists from all over the world come here to see their unique culture. The latest incident has also created an atmosphere of fear not only among the Kalash community but also among tourists in the world. If the situation does not improve, no local or foreign tourist will visit these people who depend on income from tourism for their living.

A unanimous resolution was also passed at the Jirga, according to which the government was requested that Chief of Army Staff General Asim Munir should immediately visit Chitral to meet the local elders.

They also demanded that the people of the border areas of Chitral should be given their basic rights and facilities to remove the sense of deprivation among them.

The resolution demanded that the Chitral Levies should be sent to the border areas instead of engaging them in bureaucratic protocol. Moreover, unnecessary protocol should be avoided during the movement of officers within Chitral as it spreads hatred and frustration among the people.

The administration’s lack of communication with the people and keeping them in the dark during the Taliban attack was condemnable, they added. 

Similar grand Jirgas will also be organized in Drosh, Garam Chashma, Upper Chitral and other areas. The peace Jirga concluded with Dua by former JI Chitral chief Molana Sher Aziz.

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