Gilgit-Baltistan:Tribal Jirga for Settling Boundary Dispute?

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KOHISTAN (ET): Residents of Kohistan have threatened to use force if a check post erected on the Karakoram Highway is not removed by December 19. Locals allege the administration of Gilgit-Baltistan (G-B) and Khyber-Pakhtunkhwa (K-P) constructed the check post in the revenue limits of Kohistan.
Responding to the ultimatum, the Kohistan district administration has decided to form a tribal jirga for resolving the dispute, Kohistan DPO Akbar Ali said on Monday.
Addressing a news conference in district headquarters Dassu, Sher Ghazi, Zahir Shah, Mir Zaman, Asadullah Qureshi and other members of the Bhasha Dam Action Committee said the G-B administration has established a check post on the Karakoram Highway at Basri which falls in the revenue limits of Kohistan. They said according to a report of the Survey of Pakistan in 1955, Basri was part of Kohistan, adding that the same was endorsed by the forest department’s map.

Committee members said the Diamer administration constructed the check post in 2006 after which residents protested and forced them to shelve the plan. However, in 2008, the administration began constructing the check post once again. They said the matter was then taken to court which ordered a boundary commission be set up to resolve the dispute.
Locals have now directed the K-P and G-B administrations to remove the check post and said failure to do so would put the responsibility of the law and order situation on the government. They have also threatened to block the vital Karakoram Highway if their demand is not met.
Kohistan DPO Akbar Ali said for ensuring a smooth flow of traffic and maintaining order, the G-B administration was forming a tribal jirga to settle the dispute with the people of Kohistan. He said the matter will soon be resolved without any disturbances from both sides.

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