SHANGLA: The people affected by the construction of Diamer-Bhasha Dam blocked Karakoram Highway at Shatyal Kohistan to press the authorities to settle the boundary dispute between Khyber Pakhtunkhwa and Gilgit-Baltistan.
The protesters, led by Bhasha Dam Action Committee chairman Asadullah Qureshi, Maulvi Abdur Rehman and Niamat Khan, were hailing from Upper Kohistan, Harban, Shtyal, Bhasha, Sazeen, Somur, Shori and Basri Nala. They were chanting slogans against the governments of Khyber Pakhtunkhwa, Gilgit-Baltistan and Wapda.
Speaking on the occasion, Asadullah Qureshi, Abdul Aziz, Haji Sher Ghazi, Rehmat, Zahir Shah and Khan Bahadar said that they would not allow work on the dam project if the dispute was not resolved.
They said that in February 2014 four persons were killed and seven others received injuries in a clash owing to the dispute.
Protesters set May 15 deadline
They said that more than two years passed but the dispute was still unresolved. They feared another bloody clash if the dispute was not resolved.
The speakers alleged that Wapda officials had assured the landowners that payment of 1,500-kanal, acquired by the government at the first stage, would be made in accordance with the market price but they were still waiting for the payment.
They said that boundary commission constituted by former president Pervez Musharraf could not settle the issue between Gilgit-Baltistan and Khyber Pakhtunkhwa.
The protesters set the deadline of May 15 for acceptance of their demands. They threatened to block Karakoram Highway at various places if their demands were not met.
RAIN: Heavy downpour continued in Shangla for third consecutive day, turning the weather pleasant.
The new spell of heavy rain started on Tuesday and continued till filling of this report. The rain lashed Besham City, Alpuri, Chakesar, Puran, Martung, Karora, Lelwnai, Shapoor and Dandai areas. Some of the links roads in far-off areas were blocked due to landslide.
RALLY: The members of village and neighbourhood councils from across the district held a car rally to protest 70 per cent deduction from the uplift funds by the provincial government.
The protesters reached Alpuri and staged a protest outside of the office of deputy commissioner. They demanded of the government to withdraw the decision of 70 per cent deduction from the funds. They threatened to launch a full-fledged movement in the district if their demand was not met.
Meanwhile, the members of Maira village council have submitted a no-confidence motion against the council nazim. A meeting of the village council was held at assistant commissioner office in Besham with naib nazim Kamal Ahmed Khan in the chair.
Councillors Shafiqur Rehman, Mohammad Tayeb, Gul Fareen Taj, Kamal Ahmed Khan, Shah Fahad, Ishrat and Mutaj attended the meeting. They said that they moved no-confidence against the nazim, Amir Zada Khan, for his misbehaviour with members.
Published in Dawn, May 6th, 2016