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Govt warned against taking over community lands

Govt warned against declaring community lands as state property

DIZG (YARKHUN): Representatives of village/cluster organizations from Istach and Dizg on Monday expressed their strongest reservation and condemnation against the government’s clandestine move of declaring community land as state property.

At a meeting in Dizg, they said before and during the process of revenue documentation, which was held for the first time across Chitral, local people were neither asked nor informed about the proprietary rights on pastures and other community lands.

They said the revenue officials stealthily declared shamilat such as Khotan Lasht located between Istach and Dizg as state land. They said Khotan Lasht has been a common grazing ground for the two villages for centuries and is also being used by local communities for graveyards. 

They said even before planting saplings under the KP government tsunami plantation drive, the forest department had solicited permission from the locals and after three years handed the trees to the local communities.

The participants of the meeting said now it has come to their knowledge that the government has declared Khotan Lasht along with Istach Gol and Dizg Gol as state properties, creating resentment among the locals.

The meeting through a resolution warned the government to revise its flawed documentation and refrain from trying to occupy community lands as there of lands and clearly define community lands as state property.

They also warned that the ‘broad daylight robbery’ on the rights of the masses by the government would never be tolerated and for any untoward incident the officials of the revenue department would be held responsible.

The meeting also decided to devise a strategy to thwart the government’s move of taking over community lands at all forums. The participants demanded that the government should launch a fresh documentation of all lands in Chitral after taking the public into confidence.

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