CM directs steps to stop illegal mining

F.P. Report

PESHAWAR: Chief Minister Khyber Pakhtunkhwa Pervez Khattak while taking notice of the complaints of mining in prohibited areas of Guzara Forestry has directed the concerned authorities to immediately stop such activities and discourage illegal mining in any part of the province.

He also directed to initiate disciplinary action against the irresponsible govt officials for allowing the investors for mining in such controversial areas as well as ensuring recovery of the losses inflicted to the investors as such from the concerned officials instead of the national exchequer.

Similarly he instructed for conducting high level joint inquiries against the involved officers for misuse of power and issuing illegal NOCs to the mining investors. He asked for referring cases of such officials to the accountability courts and institutions in case of inflicting more high losses to the national exchequer.

He was chairing a meeting of the Mines Investment Facilities Authority (MIFA) at CM House Peshawar that took stock of the complaints regarding mining in Guzara Forestry areas and the problems faced by the mining owners and investors in this regard wherein necessary decisions were also taken to resolve issue. The meeting was attended by Provincial Minister for Law Imtiaz Shahid Qureshi, Secretary Finance Shakeel Qadar Khan, Secretary Environment and Forestry Syed Nazar Hussain Shah, Secretary Mineral Development Syed Mohammad Shah, Secretary Law Asghar Ali, Secretary P&D Syed Shahab Ali Shah, Vice Chairman Board of Investment (KP-BoI) Faisal Saleem Khan, President Mines Owners Association Sher Bandi Khan, President Mines Workers Association Mahmood Shah Khattak and other members of MIFA.

The Chief Minister said that provincial government has made record legislation to bring the government machinery and public at par with law abiding entities and enable the nation to proudly join the folds of the developed and civilized world what to think of breaking any laws, rules or regulations. He announced a committee comprising the administrative secretaries of Finance, Mineral Development, Law and P&D departments to sort out the issue and submit him report of the recommendations within a week time. He made clear that provincial government would neither allow illegal mining in the province nor harm the interests of investors but would continue pursuing the policy of providing maximum incentives to the investors in letter and spirit.

Pervez Khattak asked the authorities to ensure that each and every steps of the government must reflect the national interests and not to violate any law at any cost. He said that our interests started from law implementation and lead to industrial and economic growth and green revolution. He said that there should be no mining in any area under forestry whether it fell in the areas of Guzara, protected or reserved forestry as, he said, all these three types of forestry linked with environmental improvement and national health in the long run. He said his government would never compromise on any of such vital issues.

He said that forest and agriculture constituted the backbone of our economy and the province could be marched on road to green revolution by developing both these sectors on scientific lines. He also directed to initiating measures for amendments in the concerned rules to include and mention Guzara forestry in the concerned rules of mineral development department. He underline the need of bringing cohesion and conformity in the rules and regulations of both the departments of environments and mineral development as well as removing the anomalies in the concerned laws including the mention of Guzara Forestry.

Meanwhile, Chief Minister has said that safeguarding the lives, honour and properties of people was the top most priority of a government while his provincial government was mobilizing all its resources and energies to discharge this responsibility in befitting manner. He appreciated the performance of Khyber Pakhtunkhwa police in this regard and expressed the confidence that our police would soon apprehend the killer of Asma Rani to settle this murder case of Kohat in the way it solved the killing of minor girl Asma in Mardan. He said that his government would not allow any expediency in this regard.

He said this during a presentation given to him by IG Police SalahudDin Mehsood about law and order situation in the province and especially apprised him of the progress in Asma Rani Murder case. The IGP informed the Chief Minister of the latest developments made in respect of this criminal case.

Pervez Khattak directed the Police Chief to work round the clock to ensure access to the wanted criminal in collaboration with the federal law enforcement and investigating agencies. He said that government would be always on the back of its police. He said that providing justice to the oppressed was prime responsibility of his government and also essential part of his party manifesto.

The Chief Minister said that time has come that all schools of thought make joint efforts above their political considerations to discourage criminal acts in the society. He said that politicizing such incidents could harm the endeavors of eradicating criminal elements from the province. He directed the IGP to keep him abreast with latest developments of police made in Asma Rani murder case. He said that there was no one above the law and the government would soon arrest the killer and bring him to book to ensure justice to the family of innocent Asma Rani who was brutally killed in Kohat.