Exclusion of Kalash
and other minorities mother languages in
forthcoming population census condemned
CHITRAL: The people of Chitral including Kalash minority
felt dejected over the omission of Kalash religion along with the
fourteen numbers of mother languages being spoken across the
district in the enumeration process in the forthcoming population
census and have warned the government of boycott it.
Addressing a press conference here on Sunday, the representatives
of Kalash community Nabaik advocate and Luke Rahmat flanked by the
spokesmen of different literary organizations, Dr. Inayatullah
Faizi, Muhammad Kausar advocate, Inamullah, Muhammad Irfan and
others said that the exclusion of Kalash from the list of religions
and that of local languages of Chitral have sent shock waves across
the valley of Chitral.
They said that in the enumeration form designed for enumeration in
the census 2017, only 5 religions have been mentioned and Kalash
comes under the head of ‘others’
for which ‘0’ will be entered in the column of religions.
They said that Kalash are already endangered people and their
exclusion from the data base of census will create a series of
complications for them which will jeopardize their entity and
accelerate the process of their extinction.
They said that for all intent and purposes, only the data of
population census organization is given credence and the absence of
Kalash from the census will lead to a confusion and fuss over the
strength of these ancient people residing in three segregated and
contiguous valleys in the north of Chitral.
“The proposal of declaring Kalash as the world heritage in the
forum of United Nations twice in the past was turned down simply on
the ground that the population of Kalash was present in the
population census report of 1998”, they said and added that the
future of these backward people will remain bleak and blurred till
they are recognized by the government.
They were also critical of the government to mention only nine
languages in the census form and writing ‘0’ for the other
languages and said that it will create a sense of disparity and
thereby lead to impair national harmony.
They said that the government should recognize and value the
cultural diversity of Chitral as fourteen different languages are
spoken in three six different valleys of Chitral which included
Khowar, Gujari, Palula, Yidgha, Shina, Gawarbati, Bashgaliwar,
Torwali, Balti, Broshaski, Gujali, Wakikwar, Sariquli, Damia and
They warned that if the Kalash religion and local languages are not
included in the form of population census, then the people of
Chitral and Gilgit-Baltistan will go to boycott it and will also
start protest movement.
They appealed to the president of Pakistan, Mamnoon Hussain, Prime
Minister Nawaz Sharif and Army chief Qamar Javed Bajwa to take
cognizance of the injustice meted out to the people of Chitral and