Deforestation and Growing Conflict in the Kalash Valleys

  KT Report

clip_image002Kalash, 30 October 2011. Since last year deforestation in Ac’uagha valley and now deforestation reached out in Kalash valley Rukmu (Rumboor). Breaking news came yesterday evening when the people from Ayun Tholiyandeh village took pre-matured action and kidnapped 6 elders of Kalash valley Rukmu (Rumboor). According to local sources in Rukmu (Rumboor), valley the kidnapped elders named, Saifullah Jan, Karta Sing, Yasing, Ubaid-u-llah, Gulferoz, Mehboob were kidnapped in Ayun valley (Ayun is the gate way to Kalash valleys). Local sources told the Kalasha Times that one person is injured and a jeep is partially damaged. Early this morning news came that DSP police was also beaten on the occasion and police came to the area and started search operation in the area and released the kidnapped person at 11 P.M and the elders safely arrived their respective villages at 12 A.M. According to some reliable sources police have registered more than 200 FIRs against the people of Tholiyandeh Ayun. This happened because of the marking and deforestation taken in Rukmu (Rumboor) valley. According to local people in Rukmu (Rumboor) valley 80 plus people from Ayun valley went in Rukmu (Rumboor) to interfere with the people living in Rukmu (Rumboor) valley and the people from Shiekhanandeh took an action against these people and sent them back. When these people found resistance they came in Ayun valley and started mobilizing locals in the area. Resultantly the created problem and kidnapped 6 well know people from Rukmu (Rumboor) valley.

The people from Ayun Tholiyandeh are gathered in Ayun and news is coming that they have blocked the road and propagating angers among others in the area. It’s important to mention here that these people were in long term cases (People from Tholiyandeh Ayun are calming that the high pastures are belonging to them but so far they are not successes in this regards) with the people in Rukmu (Rumboor) since long. But Rukmu (Rumboor) valley solely won the case till in Supreme Court of Pakistan.

People are wondering and rising questions that whom to blame and who is responsible for the law and order situation in a very peaceful areas of the country? What is JFMC? Who is dividing the peaceful community? Who is getting benefit out of this situation?

clip_image004KPK forest department is handing over the cedar forest to contractors to marking and demolished the local treasures of these areas. But the questioned is that who is getting benefits out these situations. According to reports of government and the local elders government is taking 60% profit and only 40% is going towards the valleys. It does not stop here, according forest laws if there is marking or disforestation by government then there will be no permit issues to people in those areas. In Ac’uagha valley 60% permits had issued this year and huge quantity of deforestation is in progress in the area.

What is JFMC, Joint Forest Management Committee what it’s doing? This is government based initiative introduced in KPK for the welfare and development of forest and what is it doing now? Few people have selected and then what has government done? As many locals told the Kalasha Times that through JFMC government has sold the cedar forest to some contractors and put bones for the communities to fight each other for their right and for the sake of few rupees.

Now the situation is going to be worst day by day and all responsibilities and blames go to KPK forest department and JFMCs. People from the valleys are urging government to take action in order to restore peace in the valleys. Otherwise it would be late and the country may loss peace and social harmony in a place which knows for it is peacefulness.

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