Mining damages everything while govt left Chitral on fate of nature: PHC

Humayun Khan

PESHAWAR: A divisional bench comprising of Chief Justice Peshawar High Court (PHC) Justice Qaiser Rashid and Justice Ijaz Anwar observed that mining department has damaged everything including forests and rivers while government left Chitral to the fate nature, on Tuesday.

During hearing Advocate General Khyber Pakhtunkhwa Amir Javeed, secretary forest Abid Majeed, Director General Galyat Development Authority Khalid Mehmood, Malik Ajmal Advocate, Additional Advocate General Syed Sikandar Shah, National Accountability Bureau (NAB) Additional Prosecutor General Muhammad Ali, Deputy Attorney General Ubaid Ullah, secretary mining Amir Lateef, Commissioner Hazara Amir Sultan, DG Mining Muhammad Naeem, Barrister Asad-ul-Mulk and Ali Gohar Advocate along with officers appeared before PHC in cases regarding issues of forest and fuel in Chitral district.

PHC inquired from Secretary’s forest regarding report submitted by NAB’s prosecutor Muhammad Ali and Tariq before court while Abid Majeed answered that the department is member of Mining committee while files appeal against issues relating to environmental impacts.

However, Chief Justice Qaiser Rashid observed that submitted report is enough to open eyes because deforestation has not only increased chances of floods but has also created several environmental issues and become a threat to extinct ‘Markhor’ from the region.

NAB’s prosecutor general Muhammad Ali it is revealed that four lakh and 80 thousand are cutting annually for fuel in Chitral during his visiting with forest’s department. Although, secretary’s forest informed that cutting of trees are carried in private capacity and it is neither cutting from government forest land. He added that local Tehsildar is granting permit to private persons in this regard because there are no available sources for fuel in Chitral.

Barrister Asad-ul-Mulk argued that he is resident of Chitral and aware of problems facing by local populace while Chief Justice Qaiser Rashid ordered secretary’s forest to prioritize protection of national assets in the form of forests.

Secretary’s forest assured protection of woodlands and shouldn’t allowed cutting of trees in his jurisdiction while PHC has adjourned further hearing in this regard.