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Kohistan, Chilas elders agree to resume talks

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Land dispute

MANSEHRA: The local elders, clerics and tribesmen from Thor village in Chilas in Gilgit-Baltistan reached Harban in Kohistan to settle the feud under the local customs on Sunday.

Talking to reporters, Deputy Commissioner Fazle Khaliq said that it was a major breakthrough that the people of Kohistan suspended their sit-in at Karakoram Highway (KKH) and agreed to settle the issue with tribesmen from Thor village in Gilgit-Baltistan.

The clerics, elders, local people including 20 women reached Harban from Thor along with cattle, the symbol of reconciliation in such critical issues, to settle the issue through local customs.

The elders and clerics from Harban tribe accepted the arrival of Thor tribespeople and extended hospitality as a gesture of goodwill and didn’t stage sit-in at the Karakoram Highway.Asadullah Qureshi, chairman of action committee, announced that a grand jirga of the tribes would be held on Monday (today) to settle the land dispute and other issues.

He said that until their guests, tribesmen from Thor, were present with them they would not hold the sit-in. He said later a strategy would be evolved to force federal government to make public the report of the one-man commission about the ownership of the disputed land between Khyber Pakhtunkhwa and Gilgit-Baltistan.

Deputy Commissioner Fazle Khaliq said that a five-member jirga comprising elders from both sides was active to settle the land dispute issue.He said the people of Thor reached Harban to settle the land dispute once and for all.The residents of Kohistan had threatened last week that they would block the KKH by May 15 if the federal government didn’t make public the report of the commission.

A local, Attaullah, told reporters that three men from Harban and one from Thor village in Chilas were killed in the clashes over the piece of land and the tension was running high in the area. He said the people from Kohistan had been staging protest and blocking the KKH over the last few days in a bid to solve the issue.“Our people will abide by the tribal triditions. They are ready to pay the blood money to the families of those killed in clashes three years back,” he said.



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