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Over territory dispute: G-B lawmakers vow to stand with Diamer

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GILGIT:In a rare display of solidarity, lawmakers from Gilgit-Baltistan (G-B) took an oath on Friday “to support their brothers” in Diamer Valley who are fighting G-B’s case against Khyber-Pakhtunkhwa (K-P) over a controversial piece of land.

HunzaNews March 15th, 2014.

The unprecedented unity was witnessed in the G-B Assembly during a meeting with a grand jirga from Diamer. The jirga, comprising at least two dozen representatives from all valleys of Diamer, came to Gilgit to seek support in wake of clashes between residents of Thor and Harban valleys that led to deaths of seven people and injured several others.

The nearly 10-kilometre stretch of land on both sides of the Basari check post, which separates Kohistan from G-B, has long been a bone of contention between Thor Valley, Diamer and Harban Nala, Kohistan. The disputed land is among the areas being demarcated for acquisition of the long-awaited Diamer-Bhasha Dam.

Sitting on the ground in the G-B Assembly lawn, the lawmakers listened attentively as the representative of the Diamer jirga, Maulana Mohammad Sadiq, spoke.

“We are indeed thankful for the assembly’s support through a resolution,” said Sadiq, “But we are here to let you know that we are fighting G-B’s war. We could have easily solved the boundary issue with the Kohistani tribe, to whom we are also related, but we opted against it since the issue is not confined to Diamer alone.”

Sadiq added that they had not wanted to act without taking parliamentarians on board since the issue will be linked to royalties from the dam in the future. Sadiq claimed that K-P was doing this injustice because G-B was a backward region without representation in parliament.

Lawmaker from Baltistan, Fida Nashad, was the first to praise the resolve of the Diamer jirga.

“I, on behalf of the people of Baltistan, salute and assure you that we are with you without any prejudice,” he said, regretting that he could not visit the aggrieved families after the recent clashes.

Representing Ghizer Valley, Nawaz Naji suggested that a committee should be formed to fight the case with K-P on all fronts. “It is unfortunate that nothing happens in this country without bloodshed,” he added.

G-B Minister for Water and Power Didar Ali  said “This is an issue for the whole of G-B.”  Minister for Information Sadia Danish said she wanted to assure the jirga on behalf of the mothers and sisters of G-B that they are with the people of Diamer.


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