Chitral parties hint at boycotting elections

CHITRAL: The participants of a multi-party meeting here on Wednesday hinted at boycotting the upcoming general elections to protest the proposed delimitation of constituencies of provincial assembly.

Presided over by JUI-F leader Maulana Abdul Shakoor, the meeting was attended by local heads of almost all political parties. Chitral will lose a seat of provincial assembly if the delimitation plan was enforced.

The participants of the meeting said that they would go to any extent, including boycott of elections, to protest reduction of one provincial assembly seat in the district. They said that Chitral had vast area and it would lag behind in the field of development with only one provincial assembly seat.

They resolved to take a united and firm stand on the issue to get the seat restored as the proposed delimitation disappointed the people of the district. They also disapproved the process of land settlement in the district according to which pastures and river beds were declared to be state properties while in the past they were privately owned properties defined by local laws and customs.

The participants of the meeting said that 96 per cent land in Chitral was mountainous and pastures and it was unwise to divest the residents of a village of the pastures surrounding it on which they depended for their sustenance.

They said that the people would never surrender their right of ownership to the government.

MNA Shahzada Iftikharuddin criticised the district administration for what he called the futile practice of holding khuli kutcheris in different villages that had no outcomes at all but only wastage of government resources.

Maulana Jamshed of JI, Shahzada Khalid Parven and Advocate Fazle Rahim of PML-N, Qazi Faisal of PPP, Mir Ebadullah Khan of ANP, Aminur Rahman of PTI and Maulana Hussain Ahmed of JUI-F attended the meeting.

Published in Dawn, March 29th, 2018

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