Gilgit - Baltistan

People of Mastuj Chitral protest against collapse of bridge, “demand merger with Gilgit – Baltistan”

by Mohammad Yousuf Zond

Mastuj Chitral, August 31: Irritated people of Mastuj Tehsil at a public meeting here on Sunday demanded that their area should be merged into the neighboring Gilgit-Baltistan, saying the NWFP government has failed to provide them basic facilities and protect their property and lives.

As district administration officials including the DCO Chitral and policemen brought in a truck from the lower part of the district to help the local police meet any eventuality stood by, the speakers gave full vent to their anger on the authorities for their continued apathy towards lingering issues of the area. The largest ever public meeting in the history of the area was held under the chairmanship of Mastuj Tehsil Nazim Shahzada Sikendarul Mulk after the nearby bridge over the Laspur River collapsed for the second time within a month killing three persons.

The area people had warned the government that old and dilapidated materials were being used in the reconstruction of the bridge which could lead to further collapse of the bridge. But the authorities did not pay heed to the issue. Those who spoke on the occasion included Shahzada Sikendarul Mulk, Abdur Rehman, Fateh Ali Shah, Sardar Ahmad and Mohammad Hayat.Through a resolution unanimously passed on the occasion, the meeting said Gilgit-Baltistan has been given the provincial status and the people of upper Chitral should be merged into that region.

Due to its proximity and cultural affinities, the people of the Mastuj subdivision would be better off if they were included in Gilgit-Baltistan, they added. They said for the last many years people of the tehsil had been ignored in all fields of development and as a result today they were deprived of all basic rights, including healthcare facilities, education road and communication infrastructures.

The protesters warned the government that if the bridge was not constructed within a week, they would take to the streets and damage public property. They also demanded that immediate action should be taken and a case be registered against those responsible for collapse of the bridge including the contractor who used old materials in its reconstruction.

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  1. We, the peoples of Gilgit-Baltitan, storngly condemn the ill-will of the contractor of the bridge and other dishonest authorities that killed three persons. The peoples sentiments are genuine and have the right demand. Not only Upper Chitral, but rather the whole of Chitral and Kohistan are part of Gilgit-Baltistan in all respects: linguistically, ethnically, religously, politically and geographically.

  2. I am not sure what the bad construction of a brdge has to do with changing the political status quo for Chitral. We all want to see better institutions and responsibility throughout Pakistan. How will this change if Chitral is merged with Gilgit Baltistan. When all Pakistanis in each and every area take greater pride and professionalism in or work, we will see greater development.
    My family is from Gilgit and Chitral. When people speak of Chitral merging with Gilgit, they forget that Chitrali or Khowar was the lingua franca of the Northern Areas for a long time in history. Greater Chitral under its Mehtar ruled vast tracts of what now constitutes Gilgit Baltistan. Some readers amy not know that Chitralis have a greater claim to declaring large parts of Gilgit to be annexed to Chitral. The presence of large numbers of Khowar speakers in Gilgit region supports this history. Regardless, lower Chitral and many parts of the district are now inhabited by large numbers of Pashtu speakers. They have become locals over the passage of time and currently most people in Chitral accept that the district is with Sarhad. I don’t know what the writer means by saying whole of Chitral is related ethnically, linguistically and religiously. Last I checked, there were many races in Northern Areas, many different sects and many political affiliations just like everywhere in Pakistan. Try to respect each other and celebrate differences but don’t spread misinformation. Our Pashtun Muslim brothers and sisters in Sarhad are part of our great Pakistani family. My Chitrali side is happy to be with them!

  3. Dear Gilgiti
    As Mr. Yousuf has spoke his heart out, and had given, the relation between the twin area, and you yourself has also proclaimed it. It means that Chitral at the moment under the presure of Pashton are not living a free life but rather under oppression. They have to act with great difficulties and furter more observing the development and the direct effect of any problem has to pay by the people same like the peopel of NA.

    But Im think, you have wrote the words dirctly with a pointed vision,
    Just a hint, respect others views and give a positive and observed lines with real story.

  4. We the people of Gilgit-Baltistan, with open arms, welcome the inclusion of Chitral in our Autonomous Region. We extend our moral support for the separation of Chitral from NWFP with which it has no social, cultural and historic links.

  5. Dear Gilgiti,

    I don’t understand your comment that Pashtuns of NWFP are great part of Pakistani family that why Basha Khan was buried in Jalalabad, Afghanistan and who is demanding for Pukhtunistan? The ANP’s Chief Minister, Amir Hyder Hoti never visit Chitral since it election as Chief Minister. The Mutahida Mahaz of Matuj is struggling since 1980 to merge Mastuj, Chitral with Gilgit- Baltisan.

  6. I’m totally agreed to brother Mohammad Yousuf Zond, pathans are giving a torment ot our Chitrali brothers, we the people of G-B consider Chitral as da Integral Part of G-B. Chitral is the part of G-b, coz it was the part of our last Baloristani state, Mr Gilgiti (am sure u’re not) Mir Mehtar was da leader who sent his army to support the Jang-e-Azadi of G-B, coz Chitral was and Chitral is a very importnt segment of the state of Baloritan. When British left our lands, it was their duty to bring our Chitral back to us, but they were out of their breath, so they left without doing their job. Later on pakistanis occupied the area and merged it with the NWFP. Dear, Chitralis are not pathans, they are Baloristanis, they have relations with Gilgitis, Baltis, Hunzais, Astoris, Ladaakhis, Gojalis, Chilasis and the poeple of Ghizer..!!
    I’m amazed to see ur statement u made, that pashtuns are pakistanis, dear bro, plz dn’t deteriorate the names of Baloristanis, talk over historical and leagal facts, pathans hate to called as pakistanis and the new name they have chosen, Pakhtonistan, was the Dream of Bacha Khan,,, and who’s Bacha Khan and wot he wanted everybody knows.
    So, Everyone should know that Chitral was da part of G-B, it is da Part od G-B and Inshallah, It will remain as our Partforever. I offer my moral and every possible support to bro Mohammad Yousuf Zond.

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