Civil society’s conflict resolution efforts hailed

CHITRAL: A day-long stakeholders’ conference was held aimed at resolving conflicts on pastures and grazing land.

The conference was organized by Legal Aid Forum for Human Rights (LAFH) supported by CAMP and Safer World funded by European Union. Haji Abdul Nasir, president LAFH, presided over the session.

Speaking on the occasion, religious scholars, educationists, former bureaucrats and intellectuals hailed the efforts of LAFH for resolving such conflicts. The speakers said there were so many conflicts among the local community and Gujjar tribes of Ochust village  who owned hundreds of goats.

The local community was of the opinion that grazing in the mountain of the area caused deforestation and flooding. They said floods had been damaging the area since 1968 and 13 people also lost their lives in the 2010 floods at Ochust. They hailed the efforts of LAFH who brought together both the groups to solve the issue through dialogues. The participants listened to the versions of both the groups and came to the conclusion that both the parties were willing to have a strategy to save Chitral from flooding and other natural calamities.

The local community suggested to the Gujjar community to abandon their profession of cattle rearing and adopt some other professions and also give proper education to their children. While the Gujjar community said they had been keeping goats since their forefathers and had no other source of income. During the stakeholders conference, it was decided to detail a committee comprising two elites from both the groups and some mediators to solve the issue peacefully.

Those who spoke on the occasion were Rahmat Ghafor Baig, Maulana Muhammad Idrees, former DCO Hussain Ahmad, Haji Murad Khan from community side, Subadar retired Muhammad Gul from Gujjar community, Haji Abdul Nasir, Muhammad Buzurg divisional forest officer of Chitral Gol National Park and manager retired Sher Aga. The participants were of the opinion to get the issue resolved in a polite way to discourage extraordinary grazing which was causing floods and other calamities.

A large number of people belonging to all walk of life and social workers participated in the conference which concluded with prayers by Maulana Shakirullah.

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