Environment activist challenges timber mafia

CHITRAL, April 19: This is in response to the genuine demand of Mr. Ahasn, an educated and progressive son of Shishikoh who is fighting for protection of his valley’s green gold against a conglomerate of timber contractors that has came out with the new name of JFMC and regarded themselves as saviors of forest in Shishikoh valley. timberAfter hearing about the press conference of these timber contractors who are the real beneficiary of marking and so-called windfall collection, it looks very clumsy that how people change their real face to fool people in this remote but highly progressive and educated district of Chitral. You can make people fool for some time but you cannot make people fool for all time. This axiom came true at the press conference of JFMC or timber contractors. Timber business is very lucrative and people who are engaged with this business are millionaires and they can use their resources for diverting the real story in a concocted manner. But they cannot hide truth all the time. As an environmental activist, I am working in the field of environment for the last many years. After hearing the news of green cutting I personally visited the forest of Shishikoh, Kalash valleys and Arandu where marking has been carried out, and I collected video records which speak about the real story that how much green cutting took place in these forests in the garb of marking. If JFMC or group of timber contractor is right in their stance there should be an open forum in which JFMC, Forest Department Chitral and myself provide our own evidences in the forum before Deputy Commissioner Chitral and Personals of Judiciary, whether Green Cutting is taking place or otherwise. If they prove that green cutting is not taking place in those forest areas I am ready to accept any punishment for mis-information. On contrary if I proved my case of green cutting in the said forest than entire forest department of Chitral along with JFMC should be bring to book for the heinous crime of deforestation or green cutting in limited forest areas of Chitral. I also invite impartial activist of Chitral to visit those areas where marking is in progress to find out about green cutting. At the same time I personally appreciate the efforts of Mr. Ahsan for his courageous voice against the influential timber contractors who are representing themselves as members of JFMC. I also personally appeal to the people of Shishikoh and Kalash valleys to come out for protection of their forest with public force like the courageous people of Ayun otherwise timber contractors and so-called JFMC will vanish the entire forest resources of Chitral and settle themselves in down country by exposing people of Chitral to devastating flash floods and natural calamities. Rehmat Ali Jaffardost environmental activist, Chitral]]>

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