By: Mr. John B. Carter & Aejaz Karim, Washington, DC
To be very frank initially I did not pay any attention to this particular posting on Pamir Times, but last day one of my colleague handed me a printout of this letter and put many questions on my table. I was compelled to think about it. We discussed the letter for hours and were joined by our boss as well. Later on we put our thought on paper which I am going to share with the readers of Pamir Times. (Aejaz)
The president of Pakistan knows nothing about the people of Hunza. We don’t say it rather it is something we found in the letter written to the President of Pakistan from the office of the Chief of NALA. The thing we realized is that the only purpose of this letter is to convey to the president and other higher offices that the people of Hunza are nothing, but ill-wishers and miscreants. Other negative images of Hunzakuts drawn by this letter includes: 1) The people of Hunza are a real threat to the Pak China relationship, 2) they are creating hardships and hurdles to the border trade between these two countries, 3) they are a potential risk for the Chinese investment in the area, 4) they believe in illegal means and coercive actions, and 5) they have created law and order situation in the area.
We realized and won’t hesitate to say that the chief has stepped into an open confrontation with the people he represents. The chief has put his position to those who are voting him for the last many decades. We are sure he will be looking for their votes in the coming future as well. We don’t know why he forgot that he is able to use this particular letterhead only and only due to the votes of those people who according to him are the ill-wishers and miscreants. If he thinks that he has used these words appropriately than why is he representing such people? Why he is still interested in leading those people who have become an open threat to Pak China friendship and relationship?
Let’s have a look at few interesting contents of this letter. We went through the letter many times not to understand its theme, but to count few worthy-of-note words. Following words/phrases have been used repeatedly:
Ill-wishers: 3 times
Miscreant: 2 times
Illegal: 3 times
Forceable or Force able possession: 4 times (I assume it is Forcible)
Danger to Pak China relationship: 4 times
Hurdle and hardship: 2 times
It was kind of difficult for us to get handle on the intentions of the writer(s) and the purpose of using these words. Let’s think for a jiffy does these words apply to the enlightened, educated, progressive and peace loving people of Hunza valley. The writer(s) might say that we did not use these words for the entire Hunzakuts. Let us note here that this move was not from a particular group, political party, business association, or gang but the people from Khizarabad to Chipursan took this step. Neither did it happen overnight. Things were going the wrong way for a long time.
Now, the most interesting paragraph of the letter I must quote, “…the same ill-wisher and miscreant have illegally and forcefully entered the dry port premises and took forceable possession by broken doors and windows of the Port.” We don’t think that we need to write something here because some videos (a video showing the port premises after the so called forceable possession, an interview with Mr. Afsar a lady and a kid) being aired on YouTube clarifies the overall situation. These videos are also the best response to the negative reporting of Goe TV and the local news papers.
One sentence also shows the fear that SDP will not start operation from May 1st. Interestingly, on the same date, May 1st, the people of Hunza gave a historical reception to their Chinese friends at the Khuzhrav Pass and a warmhearted welcome at the SDP premises. Isn’t it enough to prove every claim wrong and baseless?
The letter also talks about the role of local administration, “for unknown reasons the local administration is still quite mum.” They doing nothing to save the SDP? We think nothing went wrong, why should they do something?
Can we say this letter is nothing more than a deep cry coming out of the “pockets” of some vested interest group? Or some ‘unknown’, ‘unseen’ yet well-known and evident forces compelled the Chief to use his official letterhead in this manner? Simply has the Chief been hijacked?
We conclude that this letter is nothing, but an effort to distort the positive image of Hunza and blow things out of proportion.
Note: This Op-Ed has been coauthored by Mr. John B. Carter and Mr. Aejaz Karim. Mr. John belongs to the USA and holds his Masters degree in South Asian Politics. Both are working with a Washington, DC based Think-tank group dealing with conflict, human rights and political governance issues.