GILGIT (ET): Opposition leader in the GB Assembly, Janbaz Khan has warned that more clashes between the residents of Diamer Valley and Kohistan can follow if the territorial dispute remains unsolved.
At least seven people were killed and a dozen others injured in an exchange of fire between residents of Thor in GB and Harban in Kohistan in February.
The nearly 10-kilometre stretch of land on both sides of the Basari check post, which separates Kohistan from Gilgit-Baltistan, 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 for the much-awaited Diamer-Bhasha dam project.
“Diamer residents will be taking their livestock to the pastures on this land, as grazing season has begun in G-B. This might lead to more clashes,” the Pakistan Muslim League-Nawaz (PML-N) lawmaker told reporters on Thursday.
Khan accused the centre, which is led by his own party, of taking the issue lightly. “The people of this region hold little value in the eyes of the rulers.”
Following the bloodshed earlier, the warring tribesmen agreed to put down their guns for 40 days after a truce was brokered by a local jirga. The jirga, comprising representatives from both G-B and Kohistan, assured the tribes that the issue would be resolved permanently through a boundary commission set up by the federal government. However, the commission reportedly failed to convene a single meeting to this effect.
Last month, the G-B legislative assembly unanimously passed a resolution condemning the Khyber-Pakhtunkhwa (K-P) for alleged encroachment near the proposed dam site. It called for immediate settlement of an issue that continuously sparks unrest in the region.