Establishing the Contemporary Issues of Kalash: Challenges and Way Forward


  • Wajahat Ali Khan MS Scholar, Department of International Relations, Muslim Youth University, Islamabad.


Chitral, ethno-religious group, cultural heritage, environmental challenges, tourism, Kalash


The Kalash, an indigenous ethno-religious group residing in Chitral, Pakistan, holds a significant attraction for tourists worldwide. Every year, a considerable number of tourists flocks to the Kalash valley, which is frequently featured in various advertisements as a means of portraying Pakistan's soft image. The Kalash people live in three distinct Chitral valleys: Bumburat, Rumbur, and Birir. They have unique cultural practices, language, and history. Like many other indigenous communities, the Kalash people face many challenges that impact their social, cultural, economic, and religious worlds. The research aims to develop an understanding of contemporary issues and advocate for meaningful changes. A survey was conducted to gather information on social, political, cultural, economic, and religious issues. Carefully selected respondents (150 in total, including 50 from each valley) highlighted several major Kalash issues. Limited economic opportunities, coupled with environmental challenges, were cited as major concerns. Additionally, the Kalash people struggle to preserve their religious and cultural heritage amidst the influence of the majority and a changing world. They also expressed dissatisfaction with development projects in the region.