Honourable MNA of Chitral
I would like to draw your kind attention towards your recent statement in which you threatened the government of Pakistan and the people of Chitral that you will revive the old system of government (State of Chitral) within Chitral, in case the problems of Chitral were not resolved.
It is a remarkable fact that you did a fabulous job within your personal capability for the people of Chitral over the past twenty years from different political platforms. No one can deny these facts regardless of your political affiliations. The people of Chitral will always remember your services and with great certainty, it will be regarded greatly in history.
You are a highly educated and respected person with a great depth of political knowledge; especially in history. Therefore, how can you possibly want to bring back that period of brutality in Chitral? I would like to share a little bit of history with you about this specific matter. The brutal system which was ruining the lives of many Chitrali families was not lifted by your ancestors. Instead, we salute to the people of Chitral who abolished the system once and for all.
It is now very strange and surprising for every individual in Chitral how can you be so proud of the time of inhumanity, barbarism, bloodthirstiness and cruelty? The history itself is a witness that the Mehtars of Chitral (rulers of Chitral) gained absolute authority to interfere wrongly in the lives of Chitrali families! It is with sadness and disgust to know that some even took advantage of the beautiful women of Chitral. They simply ruined the lives of the Chitrali people by leaving a majority of them homeless, by taking their rightful properties and handing it over to their preferred ones.
The system prevalent at that time in Chitral was the classical example of the then British colonial rulers’ policy of “Divide and rule”. Every Mehtar divided and tried to pitch one religious group against the other within Chitral. I have absolutely no hesitation to express the horrible fact that one of the communities in Chitral faced the horrible hunting and discrimination during the Mehtars’ rule. The Mehtar of Chitral used to force the people within that specific community to convert to another sect of Islam; which was wrong and against the teachings of Islam. As the Quran states (in general), it is not right to force someone into a religion, it should be their own choice. There are several examples of such brutalities that happened in Chitral during that specific time. Another terrible example of that barbarism was the expulsion of the very famous singer from the village of Sonoghour; Mr. Ziarat Khan Zarak. He was taken from his home in Sonoghur to Gazu in Tokhow and held there as a prisoner for many years. Chitral’s history is repleted with such inhumane acts done by the Mehtars.
It can be seen that due to your poor health and age, you seem to have become a political orphan. At times you are heard of going to Dubai for seeking shelter from the unbranded umbrella of a former dictator. At times you are favouring and supporting ‘Mr. Ten Percent’ and other times you are seen doing the opposite. I, as a simple Chitrali, humbly request you that you should trust the people of Chitral and ask for help from them. As I mentioned earlier that due to your remarkable services for the people of Chitral, it is your right to ask for the needed support. However, you must not disrupt the history of your ancestors or bring back the state system to Chitral. We are living in the 21st century, and not in the times of your ancestors.
Now Alhamdulillah, there is a literacy rate of 72 percent in Chitral. There is a constitutional government in the province and Chitral is a recognized district of KP. We do not need to bring back that dark period. We have the sense of freedom of religion now when compared to decades back. We are proud to be a part of our beloved motherland, Pakistan.
Lets talk about Ushur; we salute the then Prime Minister Zulfiqar Ali Bhutto of PPP when he first visited Chitral in the early 70s. He announced to abolish the self-made, shameful and dreadful system which was introduced by the Mehtars in Chitral. After the tiring struggle throughout the year when the crops were ready, the agents (Maliks) of Mehtar forcefully use to divide the little amount of grain that the families could gather in half; taking a half for themselves. This cruelty affected several farmers and their family members. Is it this system that the MNA wishes to bring back? It is not possible for you to do as you please without asking the people of Chitral who will be affected the most. This is because, once again, we are living in the 21st century, where these types of rules and regulations are absolutely unnecessary and will not be tolerated. During that period of time, there were not such resources and laws put into place for the safety and well-being of citizens.
However, time has changed now. I completely agree with Mr. Abdul Akber Chitrali of JI (Jamat Islami) that this system must not be put back into place in any way possible! In Chitral, the majority of the people do not feel comfortable even looking at the Fort (The official Residence of Mehtars) when pass by it. A feeling of disgust and sadness revisit them as they are forced to remember the incidents. At times, many refer to it as ‘Zulmato nishaan’ which in general means ‘a dark mark’ which was left behind.
(July 29, 2012).