By Zulfiqar Ahmad
ISLAMABAD, April 30: Former member provincial assembly Ghulam Muhammd on Thursday demanded the immediate cancellation of the controversial memorandum of understanding (MoU) signed by the provincial government of Khyber Pakhtunkhwa with Gilgit Baltistan for organizing the annual Shandur polo festival.
Talking to this correspondent, Ghulam Muhammad said that the idea of signing the recent controversial MoU has been brewing for the last many years which he had opposed tooth and nail during his tenure as MPA.
“This is not acceptable at all and we reject it. It’s an infringement upon the rights of Chitalis. The people of Laspur have over 600 houses there. There are Jamatkhanas and mosques and how can we allow an outsider when you are not a stakeholder,” he lamented.
Ghulam Muhammad accused the PPP MPA Sardar Hussain of striking the controversial deal for his own vested interest in connivance with Pir Karam Ali Shah – former governor Gilgit Baltistan, who also remained member of the PPP’s central executive committee till tragic assassination of former prime minister Benazir Bhutto.
The JUI-F leader also alleged that Sardar Hussain had tacitly agreed with Pir Karam Ali Shah to do the needful if he helped him in becoming member provincial assembly, for which he was awarded party ticket in 2013 general elections besides having full financial support by Pir Karam.
After getting all the favors and making his way to the provincial assembly, GM added, Sardar Hussain had no option but to oblige the GB governor by striking a controversial deal with GB government to return the favours he had done to him.
He termed the MoU a stabbing in the back of Chitraliites, saying no one will be allowed to grab even a single inch of Shnadur, which is solely part of Khyber Pakhtunkhwa.
He said that the people of Chitral have regularly been hosting Shandur polo festival for the last so many decades, adding any attempt to encroach upon it by anybody no matter how powerful he is will be dealt with iron hand.
The former MPA who seemed quite perturbed over the MoU vowed to drag the PPP MPA to the court for what he called compromising the interests of locals for his vested interest, adding a politician must not go to the extent of ‘selling his motherland’.
“Who are you to impose the GB people on us…I’ve been hosting this for the last several decades. I’ll not allow anybody else to host me at my home. Shandur is my land and I am the genuine owner. I’ll drag you to the court if you think you can swallow Shandur through such bogus MoUs,” he warned Sardar Hussain.
Amjad Khan Afridi, adviser to the minister for sports, culture, tourism and museums, promised to look into the matter to address the reservations of the people.
By Zulfiqar Ahmad