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June 23, 2018
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Culprit involved in harassing Kalash women arrested

Peshawar

June 23, 2018

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PESHAWAR: A person who was seen harassing a group of Kalash women in Chitral and whose video had gone viral on the social media was arrested here on Friday.

The young man seen in the video harassing a group of Kalash women was arrested from Peshawar. Officials said the women cops from Chitral arrested the culprit, identified as Aimal Khan.

According to the Chitral district administration, the policewomen were especially asked to arrest the culprit to give a clear message that the Chitrali women were not weak, but empowered.

Meanwhile, the Maureen Lines Foundation (MLF), an organisation providing social services in the Kalash areas, has lauded the efforts of the Chitral district administration and the Peshawar Police in nabbing the culprit seen in a video that went viral on social media which showed him harassing Kalash women.

In a statement the MLF stated, Kalash womenfolk deserved to be respected by tourists, adding these women are honourable and have high moral values.

“The Kalash women are more visible because of colourful and unique attire. They work in the fields and participate in traditional festivities along with men. Their dances, during festivities, are not performed as entertainment items but are religious rites carried out according to their sacred ancient rituals. Like most hillfolks of northern regions they are by nature warm, welcoming and hospitable,” said the statement.

The MLF said unfortunately, for the very same reasons, these women are often knowingly or unknowingly exploited by outsiders. “Tourists who are not sensitised, stare at them as if they are zoo exhibits. Visitors invade their privacy and walk into their homes uninvited. Commonly Kalash women are photographed without taking their prior permission first,” said the statement.

The MLF said special tourist police remained a long standing demand which is yet to be fulfilled.

It said the police itself needs to be sensitised to respect tourists. There have been rising complains of tourist harassment at the hands of police at checkpoints and those escorting foreign tourists.

The MLF said before visiting Kalash valleys tourists should educate themselves about the local culture. “To promote responsible tourism, they must respect the people, local norms and environment,” it concluded.

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