Furniture smuggling on the rise

CHITRAL, Oct 7: The timber mafia in Chitral is so strong that it tramples the law openly and there seems no power to check its illegal activities. For the last many years it has played havoc with the forest of Chitral in collusion with the administration and political authorities. It has been alleged by civil society that influential people were involved in illegal cutting of tress in the protected areas and even they smuggled it to down district. Some have also seen people transporting huge logs through the river Chitral to Afghanistan. Now’s has been informed that the mafia has even started smuggling furniture made from the precious deodar trees. The transportation of furniture for commercial purposes out of Chitral is not allowed under the law. But as the law is made for the common people in the country and broken proudly by the mighty, trucks are being used to shift the prepared furniture to other districts to sell them there at exorbitant rates. If there is a departmnet to check such violation, like the forest department, it seems it is involved in the illegal activity or has closed its eyes to the practice for obvious reasons.– GH Farooqui]]>

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