Resolving thorny issues through consultations

CHITRAL, Dec 1: A stakeholders conference to resolve conflict on grazing lands/pasture held in village Reshun. In the conference, both the conflicting parties participated with full commitment and enthusiasm.  The series of stakeholders conference are going on in Chitral under the project “Promoting Participatory Approach to Peace building in KP and FATA funded by European Union. CAMP along with Safer World are implementing the project in, while Legal Aid Forum for Human Rights (LAFH), Integrated Chitral Development Program (ICDP) and Kuh Integrated Development Program (KIDP) Chitral are implementing partners of the project in Chitral. In large number of villages conflict on pastures/grazing lands are going on for the last many years and continuous animosity among the conflicting parties pose threat to peace and social harmony in the Chitral. To resolve this chronic issue in Chitral LAFH, KIDP and ICDP started the project and three villages have been selected for implementation of the project those are Jughore, Uchust and Reshun in which the conflict is at peak. Overall aim of this project is resolving conflict on pastures and grazing lands in Chitral through dialogue and mediation as well as developing a mechanism/system for using pastures and grazing lands in Chitral in coordination with all the stakeholders so that the conflict resolve on permanent basis. In this connection one such conference held in village Reshun in which all the stakeholders participated. President LAFH Haji Abdul Nasir opened the dialogue among the group and presented aim and objectives of the conference. Maulana Dinar Muhammad highlighted importance of mediation resolving of conflict according to Islamic Teaching and stressed upon parties to resolve the issue and to end animosity in the area. He also thanked all of the organizations arranging this important conference to bring peace and social harmony in the area. Legal Expert and Senior lawyer Mr. Khowja highlighted different aspect of the conflict and said that if the traditional system of grazing is introduced the conflict will be resolved for good.  Representative of Goat Herding community Mr. Bulbul Aman presented stance of their group and said that goat herding had been century old profession of the area and it is the single and only source of income generation for poverty ridden rural population in the area. If the profession has been discarded it will have serious economic repercussion on the people and worsen sustenance of the people in the area. He said that last year flood is not result of grazing in the area but it is direct result of narrowing inside surface of the  Rashun Gole (Ravine) which hurdle flow of water and causes floods in the area. He also said that severity of the flood could be mitigated by widening Reshun Gole and constructing protective wall in the risk prone areas. He also said that check dames and other protective measures could also cater the problem of flooding in the area and Propounded that grazing is not root cause of the conflict. He however said that not only grazing but merciless destruction of vegetation by community members in the area for fuel purpose result flood and it must be controlled. He also said that if all the goat herders’ community is provided with alternative source of income they will leave goat herding otherwise it is not possible for them to abandon the single source of income generation.   He also said that with the passage of time people enrolled their children in school and grazing of cattle has been assigned to Gujur/shepherd in the area. He also suggested that the whole area of Reshune pastures should be developed as National Park which could also resolves the conflict forever. Representing the other party Union Council Nazim Mr. Amirullah said that he had tried his best to resolve the conflict for several time when he was Union Council Nazim of the area. He also presented number of documents/deeds which have been executed to resolve the conflict in the past but conflicting parties did not honored  the deeds and especially devastating flood in the year 2013 triggered the conflict and both parties went into litigation after the flood. He said that hiring Gujur/shepherd for grazing is the bone of contention among the parties in the area because Gujur brings large number of cattle and over-grazing causes floods which directly trigger the conflict and impede amicable resolution of the issue.  He also referred history of the litigation which is in process since start of the conflict and his efforts to resolve the issue. He said that the conflict could be resolved If people of the area should graze their cattle by themselves and Gujur is displaced from the area. After thorny discussion on the issue both of the parties agreed to displace their goat/cattle from Reshun pasture and completely bane using of the pasture  for ten years for any purpose excluding private pastures in which people could keep their cattle/goat. However conditions of banning the pasture is yet to be decide after consultation among the conflicting parties.  Hence with the effort of LAFH, KIDP and ICDP one of the decade old conflict resolved in village Reshun. Elite of the area and retired Manager Mr. Muhammad Abbas and Manager Ghayasuddin also spoke on the occasion and presented their valuable suggestion to resolve the conflict and to bring atmosphere of peace and tranquility in the area. The stakeholders’ conference concluded with the prayer of Maulana Dinar Muhammad. All the participants thanked donor agency EU, CAMP and partners organizations for implementing such fruitfully conference in the area which will bring peace and social harmony in the area. Abdul Nasir, President LAFH Chitral]]>

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