Growing societal intolerance in Chitral: A cause for concern

CHITRAL: Fight between two cousin relatives causing death of a young man along with  several injuries occurring in upper Chitral over a petty issue is a cause for concern as it is a new phenomenon being seen in this otherwise serene and peaceful village. A young man being has been shot dead and several injured including a woman, due to heavy stone pelting from both sides has been reported. Irony of the incident is that the cause of the enmity between cousin brothers was the ownership dispute of a rather insignificant willow tree (Teli) on a piece of land.

Chitral,  has long been celebrated for its tranquil atmosphere and harmonious coexistence. However, recent years have witnessed a concerning rise in intolerance and social discord.

The underlying causes of this growing intolerance can be attributed to a complex web of factors, including frustration stemming from unfulfilled aspirations, economic strains, and an uncertain future. The valley’s youth, grappling with limited employment opportunities and a widening gap between expectations and reality, often find themselves trapped in a cycle of frustration and disillusionment.

Economic hardships have further exacerbated the situation, as residents struggle to make ends meet amidst rising costs of living and stagnant incomes. The once-resilient agricultural economy has faced challenges due to climate change and infrastructure limitations, leaving many families vulnerable and struggling to maintain their livelihoods.

The uncertainty surrounding the future has also contributed to the growing intolerance. The valley’s remote location and limited access to resources have hindered economic development and social progress, leaving many residents feeling isolated and disconnected from the mainstream.

The consequences of this growing intolerance have been detrimental to Chitral’s social fabric. Trust and cooperation have eroded, replaced by suspicion and hostility. Economic opportunities have dwindled as businesses and investors shy away from an environment marked by social unrest. The valley’s once-vibrant cultural life has been stifled, as fear and insecurity have curtailed public gatherings and celebrations.

Addressing this growing intolerance requires a multifaceted approach that tackles the underlying social and economic issues. Fostering open communication and dialogue among community members can help identify and address grievances, building a foundation for mutual understanding and respect.

Investing in education and skill development can empower the valley’s youth, equipping them with the tools and knowledge to navigate the challenges of an increasingly competitive job market. Strengthening infrastructure and promoting sustainable economic practices can create employment opportunities and revitalize the local economy.

By addressing the root causes of frustration, economic hardship, and uncertainty, Chitral can reclaim its legacy of peace and harmony. The valley’s rich cultural heritage and the resilience of its people provide a solid foundation for building a more inclusive, prosperous, and tolerant society.

All credit goes to HH the Aga Khan whose vision for educating the people has started paying back and most populace of the Ismaili community are educated and forward poised. Had it not been for the Aga Khan’s farsighted vision and policy, conditions would have been far worse than what they are now. .. CN report, 29 Nov 2023

2 thoughts on “Growing societal intolerance in Chitral: A cause for concern

  1. I would like to say this is a very well written article about social disorder in a society -exists in most dehi samaj of Chitral and is manifested in many ways and aforecited is one of them. CN has specified the common causes of these social issues, however, I would like to add unsustainable population growth as many social issues arising from imbalanced population.

  2. The one who committed a murder disobeyed Allah. Allah’s command is “You shall NOT commit murder”. Every murderer has to pay compensation for the murder. How much ? They need to consult those who have the knowledge to say so.

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