14 Chitralis working in Afghanistan return home

Published: August 11, 2012

Around 20 others are still said to be working in Afghanistan. PHOTO: AFP/FILE

PESHAWAR: At least 14 locals from the Kalash valley of Chitral district, who recently got jobs with the Afghan government, have voluntarily returned to their native areas and appeared before the district administration on Saturday, officials said.

Earlier on August 2, the Khyber-Pakhtunkhwa department of Home and Tribal Affairs had directed Commissioner Malakand division to probe reports that locals from Chitral were joining the Afghan National Army (ANA).

District Coordination Officer (DCO) Chitral Rehmatullah Wazir confirmed to The Express Tribune that about 14 residents of Bamborit and Rambur areas of Kalash valley have appeared before him.

He added that some other people from the area were still working with the Afghan government, and the local elders have assured the district administration that they will return within a month. However, he said that most of these people were working with the Afghan border police and doing other menial jobs.

Wazir said that the agencies will investigate those who have returned.

He also said that notices will be issued to those who will not return during the stipulated time, and action will be taken against them. However, Wazir also pointed out that these people lived on the border and have interaction on both sides, and were engaged in small jobs.

Those who appeared before the district administration on Saturday were identified as Qudratullah, Habibullah, Abdur Rashid, Suliman, Khalil, Ziaur Rehman, Barat, Abdul Wahab, Rehmatuddin, Mohammad Yousaf, Feroz Khan, Shafiqur Rehman, Musalmaan and Abdur Rashid.

About 20 others are still said to be carrying out jobs in Afghanistan.

The returning men reportedly told the district administration that they were poor people and had gone to Afghanistan for better paying jobs. They demanded the government to provide them with jobs.

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Reader Comments (28)

  • sam
    Aug 11, 2012 - 8:52PM

    identity crisis.Pakistanis dont feel proud to be a Pakistani.they dont have strong sense of identity.A Irani would never join Afghan army even in poverty.A Turkish would never join Iraqi army even in poverty because these nations have strong national identity and proud of it while Pakistani dont feel any pride to be a Pakistani

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  • Southasian
    Aug 11, 2012 - 8:54PM

    Poverty overpowers everything can compell people to do things against their wishes and conscience , once they are back, they need to be given alternate provision of employment .

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  • AFGHAN
    Aug 11, 2012 - 8:55PM

    The media must do some research before publishing any kind of news. These Chitrali men had enlisted in the Afghan Local Police (local militia/anti-Taliban lashkar) who are just armed to secure the villages in the areas where the Afghan government doesn’t have it’s writ. They are not part of the regular Afghan National Army (ANA).

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  • Sahira
    Aug 11, 2012 - 9:24PM

    Anyone who speaks Pashto and born from a pashtun mother and father is considered Afghan and can join the ANA, what’s the problem?

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  • yasidude
    Aug 11, 2012 - 9:56PM

    @Sahira: Dear Chitralis are neither Pashto born nor speak Pashto. Chitralis have totally different background.Recommend

  • DB
    Aug 11, 2012 - 9:57PM

    @Sahira:
    Chitralis are not Pushtun. The problem seems to be your lack of knowledge.

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  • Zaikam
    Aug 11, 2012 - 10:07PM

    Even if they did join Afghan army, the incompetent and corrupt government needs to answer in first place why has it failed to provide them with good living? Hunger drives you crazy, wish Zardari and accomplices had any idea of that. Shame!

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  • khan
    Aug 11, 2012 - 11:07PM

    @ sam.. speak for yourself. Not everyone is like you

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  • Peace On Earth
    Aug 11, 2012 - 11:27PM

    @ DB: No need to be rude like that. If she was wrong, then state what you know but don’t act insane.Recommend

  • Aug 12, 2012 - 12:21AM

    @sam: You should really speak for yourself, 99% of Pakistanis across her width and breath are proud of being called Pakistanis.

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  • Uzair
    Aug 12, 2012 - 12:32AM

    @sam: yeah thanks to our liberal media. Human is same everywhere which means HE is greedy for money or a better life and access to luxuries. This lacking is exploited here by our sold out media which has spread this distress

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  • Sherghazi
    Aug 12, 2012 - 12:38AM

    Bamborit and Rambur areas of Kalash valley are most neglected vallys by KPK and federal Govt and the people of these vallys are facing many difficulties during winters even the road also disconnected due to snow at Lawari top snowfall. What they can do. If Punajbi, Sindhi , baluchis, and KPK central people can get job in FBI , Black water and CIA then what Chitralis did wrong?? Please dont make them controversial because these are loving and caring people. very few in population but million of hearts they win every year through there culture and traditions.

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  • SitaW
    Aug 12, 2012 - 2:51AM

    @sam:
    US is spending USD 10bio per annum on Afgan army .

    It is simply economics.

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  • Adil
    Aug 12, 2012 - 3:21AM

    @khan:

    I would agree but sam does have a mind.And why shouldn’t Pakistanis develop an identity crisis given contents of their textbooks and their glorification of Afghan kings and invaders.Apart from criticizing role of ISI which sounds reasonable and legit,many Afghans mock us,our culture and inferiority complex when we consider people like Ghauris,Ghaznavis and Abdalis as our national heroes and assets….More shameful is the fact that despite all such embarassments,our masses continue to say that WE ruled India for 1000 years and WE conquered Spain,and WE did all this and this and so on. Our textbooks are still the same and we have people like Zaid Hamid fooling youngsters.

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  • Jibran
    Aug 12, 2012 - 3:55AM

    Why not? Why prevent poor people from working in Afghanistan, when they can work in USA, Europe? Either give them jobs at home, or let them earn their living honestly in another country.

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  • Sid
    Aug 12, 2012 - 4:36AM

    The news could have been ” They went to help Afghan Police in their pursuit to fight where their own police is not capable to face or do the job”
    Some of the above comments suggests that there is no poverty in Afghanistan. News to me.

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  • amjad khattak
    Aug 12, 2012 - 5:03AM

    now its govt’s job to provide them with employment . if state failed to provide basic necessity , then these youths have every right to do whatever they want. its not that they are killing anybody or harming any pakistanis. so state should be responsible if it wants respect.

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  • nomi
    Aug 12, 2012 - 5:11AM

    May be this was said for Pakistan.

    Its the Economy, Stupid!

    But Pakistanis will never get rid of their strategic thinking.

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  • Awans
    Aug 12, 2012 - 5:28AM

    @Sahira: Well if your notion is true that All Pakhtoon’s original country is Afghanistan then in my view People of Pakistani Punjab who are mostly Punjabis and immigrants from North India especially UP India should join Indian Army as they have the common language, ancestry and history like other North Indians and similarly people of Sindh and Karachi should join Indian Army too and Balochs should join Iran revolutionary guards as half of Balochs live in Iran as well.??. Also if you are telling the truth then kindly tell Imran Khan to leave us Alone and we are better without him as we want only that person to rule us who owns this land and owns its culture and history and If Imran Khan is Aryan Race then We non Aryans are more than happy with our Brown Identity rather than with a person of Identity crisis. Your comment reminds me of Imran Khan’s tribe Niazis in Punjab that they are living in Punjab for centuries but still failed to own this land and always differentiate on the basis of race and color but love to eat from this land without owning this region.

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  • Maria
    Aug 12, 2012 - 5:46AM

    @sam: This has nothing to do with identiity but everything to do with getting free money. Do you not know that many Muslims, including Turks, Iranis, Somalis and Iraqis are prepared to say anything or do anything to get asylum in the West including Europe. Many Muslim nationalities live on state khayrat or welfare in western countries so don’t just paint the brush on Pakistanis. Anyway, what’s wrong with letting Chitralis go, make some free money and come back because no one wants to live in Afghanistan. That’s what the locals in Afghanistan do anyway. Pakistan has supported millions of Afghani refugees for decades with limited resources. What’s wrong of a few Pakistani locals want to get some Western money there. As for the ill informed here who think Chitralis are Pashtun, they should be reminded that the Khowar speaking Chitralis are a different race and culture.

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  • Afghan Woody
    Aug 12, 2012 - 6:11AM

    Chitralis are closer to the Afghans than they are to the Punjabis, Sindhis, Biharis or the rest of the Pakitanis of Indian heritage.

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  • Khan of Jandul
    Aug 12, 2012 - 8:18AM

    Before partition, Chitral was one among the various princely states in British India. Before coming under the rule of the British India, Chitral was part of the Afghan Durani Empire. More importantly, people in Chetral have close bondage with the people of Nuristan on the other side of the Durand line.
    When the youth in Chetral sees the development and progress of thier kin in Nursitan and Kunar, naturally, they also aspire to get out of this vicious cycle of poverty which has been imposed on them by the elitist nature of the Pakistani polity. The Future of Chetral, Dir and Swat is not with Pakistan, but Afghanistan, to which these areas are more closely integrated socially, politically and economically.

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  • Justin Truthful
    Aug 12, 2012 - 9:42AM

    @sam:
    Pakistanis are intelligent and flexible.

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  • Shafiq Nasery
    Aug 12, 2012 - 9:50AM

    When scores of Afghan mujahiddean enlisted with pakistani soldiers and fought in kashmir then no one cared that Afghans are fighting for pakistan and now that chitralis are helping secure the border and earn some halal food for its family thats a problem. grow up and learn to respect people who are enlisting to bring peace in the worlds most dangerous border.

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  • JSH
    Aug 12, 2012 - 5:52PM

    @Khan of Jandul: Your information is totally wrong! Please, study the history before talking about history! Chitral was never ever under any Afghan Durrani or whatever. Chitral was completely an independent Kingdom.

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  • youth
    Aug 13, 2012 - 10:40AM

    The returned chitrali youth from afghnistan should be provided jobs.The main issue in chitral is unemployment.Chitralis are very peacefull people.They have never been engaged with any negative acitivities.

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  • Ali Nisar
    Aug 14, 2012 - 9:14AM

    Mr. Khan of Jandul, your statement is totally wrong, Chitrali’es were rulling on these areas. Chitrali’es never fall under rull of Durani’es. Sometime they were attacking on Kunar, sometime Dir and Jandul and sometime on Bajaur. They were sub-ordinate of Chitrali’es and Nuristan was part of Chitral

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  • Aug 14, 2012 - 1:49PM

    A totally natural reaction to the problem of youth unemployment. Chitral as compared to other districts has high literacy rate and there are virtually no jobs available at all. Even if there are some those are filled on the basis of bribes and government job are literally being auctioned where there is price for each post and each grade. In these circumstances I think getting employment somewhere is like doing away starvation and hunger which is totally justifiable.Recommend

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