Forest owners warn govt to lift ban on timber movement


TIMARGARAH, June 23: Forest owners and members of the defunct joint forest management committees (JFMCs) from different valleys of Chitral gathered at Timargarah on Monday and threatened the KP government to lift the ban on movement of timber till July 14 otherwise they would start protest demonstrations. They were also joined by forest owners and lawmakers from different districts. The lawmakers included PPP Senator Ahmad Hassan Khan, MNAs Sahibzada Tariqullah, Sahibzada Yaqub Khan, Shehzada Iftikharuddin of Chitral, former senator Maulana Gul Naseeb Khan, Farhad Ali of PTI. Besides, hundreds of JFMC members from Arandu, Shishi Koh, Ashrait, Damail, Kalash, Drosh, Gauldai, Kohistan, Qulandai and Nehag Darra were also present. President JFCM Chitral Maj (retired) Ahmad Saeed, general secretary Sher Mohammad, Inzar Gul, Bahram Shah of Kalash, Umar Gul of Gauldai and others at a perss conference later complained that more than 3.2 million square feet of forest trees had been marked under the government policy while majority of the trees had been cut but recently Chief Minister Pervez Khattak imposed a ban on its transportation to the depots and timber markets. They said being the primary stakeholders of forest they had the right to get due share in its income as forest royalty. The forest owners said after ordinances passed by the government in 2004 the JFMCs were formed with officials of the forest department in order to develop and preserve forestry. They said high floods in July and August would waste these valuable timbers especially in Dir Kohistan, Qulandai and Drosh. The owners also demanded of the government to take them on board before formulation of any policy regarding forestation as they were the primary stakeholders of forest development.]]>

  1. Hameed Sangal says

    Good suggestion by Mr Ghani Ur Rahman to provide the fallen trees to the local people of Chitral at subsidized rate. Whoever is involved in this illegal activity be brought to justice. All the names mentioned in the report who have gathered to warn the government including our MNA are involved in this illegal trade since many years. This is good time that the government has taken wise step towards protecting the little remaining forests of KPK. We hope that their will be no U turn on this.

  2. Ghani ur Rahman says

    According to the constitution and prevailing rules forests are not owned by a signal person or group of people or community etc, but forest are state property under 1975 ordinance. In case of artificial harvesting only the adjacent people are given some incentive as royalty otherwise the forests are regarded as state property. Unfortunately during the period of last government tremendous green cutting took place in various forests of Chitral in the garb of artificial harvesting and marking. Even one political figure of PTI has been fined in this regard. People of Chitral strongly support government move to ban all type of harvesting in KP which was dream of the people and it has been realized. In case of Chitral, almost major forest compartments in various valleys have been severely destroyed by a few group of timber mafia and exposed Chitral to devastating floods in the coming days. But government took right decision at the right time and it should not get any pressure by the protest call of a few members of timber mafia gathered in Timergirah. We are hundred percent sure that entire population of KP are with government and they want complete ban on any type of harvesting or marking in the area, but a few people who collected billions of rupees from timber business gathered in Timergirah trying to pressurize government by their nefarious design and government should not give any heed to the call of these people who are behind destroying the whole environment and forests of KP. Imran Khan and KP, CM Pervez Khatak and Fazal Illahi are highly appreciated for this move and we request them not to succumb before a few group of timber mafia gathered in Timbergirah and trying to pressure government wise policy. Rather we request KP government to recover the ill gotten money from these people and use them for afforestation in KP. The already harvested trees should be given to local people of Chitral at subsidized rate which will help local people in meeting their demand of timber.

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