Villagers demand removal of Chitral Gol National Park official

  • Say if DFO is not transferred by Jan 3, they will  take back their land used in national park.

CHITRAL: Residents of Shahmiran Deh gave the government Jan 3rd deadline to remove the divisional forest officer (DFO) of Chitral Gol National Park wildlife division, Niamat Ullah, for violating an agreement with the community and for his unprofessional attitude.

Speaking at a press conference after holding a protest rally, office-bearers of the village conservation committee Singoor, including Ejaz Ahmed, Abdur Rehman, social welfare organization’s president Samiullah and area residents said Shahmiran Deh of Singoor was the most affected village due to the establishment of the Chitral Gol National Park.

They said over 60 per cent of Shahmiran Deh was used in the national park but at the time of the establishment of the park this village was declared as equally affected like other areas.

They said in 1994, a court had given a decision in favour of the community of Shahmiran Deh. In 2003, through a World Bank-funded project in a part of the national park, the village had been given a share under an agreement. However, this agreement was still not being implemented, depriving the villagers of their due rights.

They said even the villagers were not given low grade jobs in the park.

“When our representatives approached the DFO to discuss their issues, he misbehaved with them and said he had no concerns with the local people,” they added.

The villagers warned that if their demand to remove the official was not met by Jan 3, they would take over their land used in the national park.—Bashir Hussain Azad

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