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Jirga forms committee to resolve decades-old dispute over pasture

CHITRAL, Oct 27: A day-long stakeholders (peace) conference was held at a local hotel to resolve decades-old dispute between two groups of people over a pasture in the Jugoor village of Chitral. The conference was funded by the European Union implemented by the Community Appraisal and Motivation Program (CAMP) in collaboration with the Safer World Pakistan. It was arranged under the umbrella of Legal Aid Forum for Human Rights (LAFH) Chitral. jirgaThe issue in the Jugoor village dated back to 1902 between the local residents and the Gujjar community (grazing group). The local people were of the opinion that grazing of goats by the Gujjar families caused deforestation and natural calamities such as flood and landsliding in the area. Both parties had approached higher and superior court which directed them to solve the issue through local administration and the Jirga system. The LAFH called upon both the parties for holding negotiations and resolve the issue amicably. Maulana Israruddin Alhilal motivated both the parties for solving the issue in the light of Islamic teaching Quran and Hadith. Former DCO Hussain Ahmad, Professor Rahmat Karim Baig, former Jamaat-i-Islami Chitral chief Maulana Sher Aziz, Subdivisional Forest Officer Asif Ali Shah, Public Prosecutor Hazrat Ali Shah, Divisional Forest Officer Wildlife Imtiaz Hussain and CAMP project officer Tariq Semi and others participated in the conference and spoke on the importance of a compromise through mediation. The speakers highlighted the sensitivity of the issue and legal and environmental impact on the area. Former district Nazim and JI Chitral chief Maghfirat Shah stressed upon both the parties to resolve the issue peacefully and save the area from tension. Representatives of both the opponent groups explained their points of view. The Gujjar family said they had been grazing their goats in the area for centuries and have no alternative source of income. The local community members were of the opinion that the Gujjars should sell their goats and start some other business. They said the Gujjar people owned over 12000 goats and were grazing them in the nearby pasture besides hunting wildlife. It was decided that a committee will be detailed comprising over two representatives from both the parties and with legal support of LAFH who will resolve this issue.]]>

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