Timber mafia warned

 CHITRAL, April 30: Leaders of different political and religious parties at a joint press conference here called upon the district administration and the forest department to immediately put a ban on the ruthless cutting of forest which continued under the pretext of windfall, snowfall and rainfall etc. [caption id="attachment_1472" align="alignleft" width="150" caption="Shahzada Skendarul Mulk"][/caption] They said people of Ayun had launched a campaign against cutting of forest and “we all support their genuine plea and movement.” They said deforestation was not only harming the environment but also causing tremendous flood and natural disasters in the valley. They asked the district administration to withdraw the FIR against the people of Ayun which was registered under the Anti-Terrorism Ordinance (7-ATO) because people of Chitral were very peaceful and there was no terrorist in the entire district. Those who spoke at the press conference included Shahzada Sikandarul Mulk, former Tehsil Nazim Mastuj; former MNA Maulana Abdul Akbar, former PMA Haji Zafar Ahmad, president of PPP Sherpao Chitral Abdul Wali Advocate and Sardar Ahmad. They alleged that the elected representatives of Chitral were supporting the timber mafia and had failed to take action against those cutting trees. [caption id="attachment_1473" align="alignleft" width="150" caption="Maulana Abdul Akbar"][/caption] The speakers warned the district administration not to provoke the peaceful citizens by lodging FIR against them under anti-terrorism act otherwise they will launch an aggressive protest for their genuine rights. A large number of elites from every parts of Chitral and politicians were present during the joint press conference. Meanwhile, a protest meeting was held at the rest house in Ayun which was presided over by former MNA Abdul Akbar while former Tehsil Nazim Mastuj Shahzada Sikandarul Mulk was chief guest on the occasion. The meeting was called to register their protest against illegal cutting of forest. [caption id="attachment_1474" align="alignright" width="150" caption="The participants of the conference"][/caption] They again asked the forest department as well as the district administration to immediately ban cutting of forest as well as withdraw FIR against the residents.–GH Farooqui & Waqar Ahmad        ]]>

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