Son of Alexander the Great’s soldiers wins provincial assembly seat for Kalash community

Special Son of Alexander the Great’s soldiers wins provincial assembly seat for Kalash community
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Wazir Zada poses with his community members as they celebrate his nomination for KP Assembly in Kalash valley of Chitral district. (Photo courtesy: Wazir Zada)
Special Son of Alexander the Great’s soldiers wins provincial assembly seat for Kalash community
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Wazir Zada receiving a bouquet from one of his community members after his nomination for KP Assembly. (Photo courtesy: Wazir Zada)
Updated 28 July 2018

Son of Alexander the Great’s soldiers wins provincial assembly seat for Kalash community

Son of Alexander the Great’s soldiers wins provincial assembly seat for Kalash community
  • Wazir Zada, the first member in KP’s provincial assembly from the Kalash community, has a masters degree in political science
  • The Kalash community are the descendants of soldiers of Alexander the Great, many researchers suggest

PESHAWAR: Wazir Zada, the first member provincial assembly elect from Kalash community from the northwestern Pakistani district of Chitral, told Arab News that creating social harmony is at the top of his commitments.
Zada is the member-elect to the Khyber Pakhtunkhwa (KP) Assembly on the Pakistan Tehreek-i-Insaf (PTI) reserved seat for minorities.
“The most important (issue) is social harmony; I would like to form committees comprising elders of Muslims and minorities in different areas of Khyber Pakhtunkhwa where minorities reside. We should show the world that minorities have rights and respect in Pakistan,” Zada told Arab News.
Kalash community lives in three areas called Kalash valley, which comprises Barir, Rambur and Bamboret areas.
Kalash valley is about 340 kilometers to the north of Peshawar and the valley’s population is a little over 4,000.
Kalash activists have been raising concerns over the speed with which the number is shrinking.
“The census and other forms don’t include our religion because we are considered part of Hinduism and Buddhism. But in fact our religion is separate,” said Zada, adding that the Kalash is the oldest indigenous community in the country.
Zada gained his masters in political science from the University of Peshawar and has wanted to work for the education and livelihood of minorities.
“Before Pakistan Tehreek-e-Insaf government in KP, the province had a job quota of 0.5 percent for minorities, but the PTI government raised this quota to 3 percent. I will try to increase this more, because the minorities’ population is also increasing, like others.”
Sayed Gul Kalashi, a field officer who is in charge of Chitral Museum, said Zada’s election to the KP Assembly is an achievement for both her community and also for Pakistan.
“Not only us, but the whole country should be proud of giving an native minority this honor,” she said.
A research officer at the Directorate of Archaeology told Arab News there are two theories about the origin of the Kalash community.
“One says they are descendants of soldiers of Alexander. But another says they are a local Vedic (Hindus) population who lived in the area even before the arrival of Alexander,” he said, adding that the KP government has asked UNESCO to include the Kalash community in the World Heritage List.