A Role for the Chitral Scouts



Chitral Scouts is one of the oldest corps of civil armed forces in the country. It has a prestigious past and is looked up to with awe and reverence to date. There is not a house hold in Chitral which does not have either an ex or a present Chitral Scouts soldier. Over the years this organisation has served as the biggest employment provider in Chitral. The basic role of the Chitral Scouts like all other para miltary forces is to provide a line of defence on the frontiers of their respective areas and this task the force has been doing well all this time.

With the changing geo political situation in the region, the requirements and the quantum of forces engaged on the borders has changed in the last few years. Particularly our good relations with neighbouring Afghanistan has eased off the pressure on the Scouts as far as gaurding the borders from the defence point of view is concerned.

What is now reqiured is to study if the Chitral Scouts can be usefully employed in the social sector. Called upon to do so, a 6000 strong healthy, well trained and disciplined workforce can do wonders to build Chitral within a short span of time. Some of the projects that can be assigned to the Chitral Scouts forthwith are
1) Re-forestation of the mountains of Chitral,
2) Reclamation of the river beds (Shhotars),
3) Building and maintainence of all roads and tracks in the district.

As a beginning the Chitral Scouts can be assigned the task of keeping the Lowari pass open this winter. With the kind of manpower and training the scouts have, keeping the lowari pass open for traffic by them should not be any problem.

Keeping in mind the fact that the present government is talking of enlightment, moderation and acceptance of ground realities, it is hoped that Chitral also benefits from re-prioritisation and re-deployment of (at least) its own resources ….