SOST/GULMIT: A group of at least 18 Wakhi speakers from Afghanistan’s northern Wakhan region have crossed the border and arrived in the neighboring Chipursan Valley, located in Gojal sub-division of District Hunza, Gilgit-Baltistan, Pakistan.
The group includes adult women and men, as well as children as young as 6 months old. In total the group of refuge-seekers includes seven children, six women and four adult male members, according to initial details shared by official sources, requesting anonymity.
The refuge-seekers were reportedly moved from Chipursan Valley, a region that shares direct border with Wakhan region of Afghanistan, to Gilgit city and handed over to the Federal Investigation Agency (FIA) for further processing.
The families have emigrated out of Wakhan, reportedly, due to poverty and other difficulties caused by the volatile geopolitical and security situation.
It is pertinent to note that Wakhi speakers of Pakistan share lingual, religious, cultural, and historical relationships with the residents of Wakhan valley. Some of the women in the group of refuge-seekers reportedly are Pakistani nationals married across the border in Wakhan.
During the 90s, when the Taliban took power in Afghanistan, a large number of Wakhi speakers had migrated to Pakistan, but they had returned to their villages after the situation normalized.