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Local investors being denied licences to exploit minerals of Chitral

CHITRAL: Chitrali investors and prospective miners have complained that under a conspiracy indigenous people of Chitral are being deprived of their right explore natural resources of the valley.
In an application (available with ChitralToday) addressed to the minister and department of mines and mineral development Khyber Pakhtunkhwa, Abdul Muzafar Khan, Sardar Wali Khan, Liaquat Ali, Muhammad Rafi and others said their applications for mining licences were not being processed by the department.
They said a large number of applications had been submitted by the Chitrali investors to the department over five to seven years ago after fulfilling all formalities for the grant of mining licences in Chitral. However, the government is still not ready to process the applications due to unknown reasons.
In order to keep the small local investors out of the mine exploration and accommodate influential outsiders, the government has divided Chitral’s mining areas such as mountains into blocks.
This is a conspiracy to discourage local people to explore the rich mineral resources of Chitral and eliminate poverty because they cannot obtain a licence for a block, they said.
In all orher areas of KP, mining is open but in Chitral different localities have been clubbed together to form blocks.
Under the UN charter, indigenous people have the first right on their resources but in Chitral the locals were being deprived of this right, said the applicants.
They demanded that the government should process the pending applications to issue mining licences to the local people without any further delay.
The government should also immediately do away with the discriminatory block system for mining and give the local investors priority to exploit the resources of Chitral.
It may be noted that a number of people from different parts of the country are reported to have been issued licences for mining in Chitral and Gilgit-Baltistan without even the knowledge of the locals.
It is said that influential people in the country are behind these investors who were planning to explore the resources without giving proper share to the locals.

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