The National Database and Registration Authority has decided to add an option for the non-Muslim Kalasha community in CNIC forms.
According to NADRA officials in the city, the decision was taken by authority chairman to accommodate the needs and demands of the Kalasha people.
The tribe dominates three different valleys in the mountainous region of Chitral, bordering the Nooristan province of Afghanistan.
With the incorporation of the new column, Kalasha have become the fifth community in the country to be recognised by the authority. The long-standing demand was voiced when Pakistan gained independence and after the three former princely states of Dir, Swat and Chitral became part of the new country.
The community has been demanding recognition as a separate entity based on its religious affiliations. Although a vast majority of the Kalasha are deprived of basic facilities like education, health and other social services, in the recent past the government and NGOs have helped improve their living conditions.
Kalasha woman Said Gul said their religion is amongst the oldest. “We are glad our community has been recognised,” she told The Express Tribune.
Kalash People Development Network Chairman Rehmat Kalash said after this decision, they will gain eligibility for quotas in admissions and jobs.
Published in The Express Tribune, August 12th, 2015.