Two happenings are rapidly contributing towards disturbing the peace that we continue to enjoy in Chitral despite the unfortunate happenings in the rest of our province:
- The speedy and accelerated rise in the number of madrassa’s in our Mulkhow valley since the past four years.
- The closing down of tourism business consequently affecting the economy of Chitral in an adverse manner.
Both these factors are a direct result of the poor understanding of our district at our provincial level compounded by the poor quality of the officer in charge of the district police in Chitral.
Let me give some specific examples:
A month ago, under a new name, one of the banned militant outfits was allowed to make a fiery hate speech in the Goldur Masjid in Chitral. Again last month when people in police uniforms and without identity papers were intercepted in front of a bank by the Chitral Scouts, the DPO ( instead of appreciating the alertness of the scouts) reacted by registering a false case of possession of alcohol against a scouts soldier the next day of this incident.
|Chitral river, pic courtesy author|
Tourism is a major bread earner for a large section of Chitrals population. Especially hotels, shopkeepers, jeep drivers and people in high villages wanting to serve as porters. This DPO works over-time to harass the few ordinary tourists who have been lucky to get an NOC to visit Chitral but he turns a blind eye on people establishing madrassa’s in our district for dubious reasons.
In the very early days of the Swat disturbances I used to ask my friends there what they made of the imbroglio. A large percentage of them would comment that they cannot help seeing an official hand behind the mischief makers. I am reminded of those words each time I see our DPO going about his duty to protect the peace that he has inherited in our district.
- writer Siraj Ul Mulk Retired army Officer, retired Airline pilot, is now in the hospitality and agriculture business in Chitral and the owner of Hindukush Heights Chitral www.hindukush.com.pk