Grand Peace Jirga in Chitral demands fencing of border, deployment of Border Police to borders!

Reported by Gul Hamad Farooqui

CHITRAL: A Grand Peace Jirga was organized on the call of Jamat Islami in Chitral town to discuss the law and order situation and to restore peace in the region. Leaders of all major political and religious parties and people of both, Sunni and Ismaili, communities participated in the Jirga in large numbers.

Addressing the Grand Jirga, the elders of the area said that the people of Chitral have always been loyal to Pakistan and have always supported Pakistan Army. They paid rich tributes to the armed forces for their sacrifices. They, however, said that today every Chitrali is very worried about the unpleasant incident that happened yesterday, leading to the maryrdom of four soldier. They said that in the past also such attacks have happened from the across the border, causing deaths and destruction of properites. The speakers said that there are multiple agencies working in Chitral and they had been informed earlier about the security threat, but despite that not enough measures were taken in the true sense to prevent the attack.

It is pertinent to note that yesterday TTP attacked two security posts in Astai and Jinjiret Koh areas, bordering Afghanistan, in Lower Chitral district. The attacks were repulsed, but four soldiers of Chitral Scouts lost their lives, while at least 7 others were injured. ISPR had yesterday said that 12 of the attackers were also killed and scores were injured.

The speakers said that most of the Western border has been fenced but the borders of Chitral have not been fenced yet. They demanded fencing of the border to stop the movement of terrorists from across the border in Afghanistan.

The speakers lamented the fact that Border Police, aka Chitral Levies, was created to keep an eye on the borders. However, majority of the Levies have been posted on protocol duties at offices and Bungalows of Deputy Commissioners (DCs) and Assitant Commissioners (ACs) and other bureaucrats. The speakers condemend this practice and demanded that the officials of Border Police be posted to the border areas, instead of making them serve bureaucrats. The speakers also demanded an immediate halting of all “VIP Protocols” provided to the officials. They said that Heads of States and Governments in many countries don’t have the protocol that officials in the region enjoy. The speakers said that such elitist practices are creating hatred among the masses.

The speakers expressed concern for the security and wellbeing of the Kalasha people. They said that the residents of Kalash Valley are indigenous to the area and they have a beautiful and rich history and culture which attracts tourists in large numbers from across the world. The speakers added that Kalash valley depends on tourism. Such attacks will damage the area economically and would lead to starvation among the populace. 

A unanimous resolution was also passed at the occasion in which the people present requested that the Chief of Army Staff visit Chitral and restore confidence among the populace.

The resolution also demanded provision of basic rights and facilities to the people living along the border to end their sense of deprivation.

The administration’s lack of communication with the people and keeping them in the dark during the unfortunate incidents was condemend in the resolution. It was said that such lack of communciation creates a  gap between the people and the government.

It was decided that such Grand  Jirgas will also be organized in Drosh, Garam Chashma, Upper Chitral and other areas for restoration of peace.

A large number of people belonging to all walks of life participated in this Gand peace  Jirga, which was concluded with the prayer  words of former Amir Jamaat-e-Islami, Maulan Sher Aziz.

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