Call to resolve Shandur dispute


By Our Correspondent
GAHKUCH: Members District Council Niamat Shah, Ali Gohar and Sher Jehan Khan have called upon the Northern Areas administration to resolve the dispute of Shandur before the commencement of the annual tournament in July. In a joint statement issued here, they welcomed the decision of chief secretary Northern Areas Qamaruz Zaman Chaudhry to form a commission to resolve the matter and said resolution of the dispute was in the best interest of both the people of NWFP and the Northern Areas. Appreciating the categorical statement of the chief secretary on the issue terming Shandur as part of Ghizar, they said the local administration had at last developed a comprehensive understanding of the geographical realities of the area. The District Council members said actually there was no dispute over the area as the area was an integral part of Ghizar, adding the dispute had been orchestrated under a conspiracy. They said Shandur was of crucial importance for the region and if efforts were made to snatch the highest polo ground from Northern Areas, it would lead to dangerous consequences. Meanwhile, two mainstream nationalist parties of Gilgit-Baltistan – Bloristan National Front and the Karakoram National Movement – have categorically stated that the bureaucracy was deliberately fomenting the dispute over Shandur in order to create schism and hatred among the people of Chitral and Gilgit-Baltistan. The nationalist leaders pointed out that not only Shandur but also the whole Chitral was an integral part of Gilgit-Baltistan. People of Gilgit-Baltistan have centuries-old cultural, linguistic and geographical relations with the people of Chitral. They said the government for the last many decades had denied the people of Gilgit-Baltistan their basic constitutional rights and wanted to keep them subjugated for ever. For this purpose, they said, the local people are pitched against each other by creating such issues. They said their parties would continue opposing the NWFP government’s control over Shenaki-Kohistan and Chitral which, they said, were integral parts of Gilgit-Baltistan. They also called upon the international community to take notice of the situation.

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