PESHAWAR - The Sarhad Awami Forestry Itehad (SAFI) has demanded of the government to extend at least 80 per cent royalty to the people of respective areas in Malakand division.
Flanked by the SAFI general secretary, Jamshid Khan, co-ordinator Riaz Ahmad, and local owners of the forest, he recalled that the former MMA government had endorsed to extend 80 percent royalty to the forest development areas of Malakand division after tabling a resolution in the provincial assembly. But the incumbent government, he alleged has failed to enforce the decision, which was against the rules of business of the legislative assembly.
Though the elected representatives from Swat, Riaz claimed were made announcements on several occasions at different forums to extend 80 percent royalty to forest populated areas in Swat and Malakand division, but yet to be implemented.
The president of the owners’ of the forests said that the forest-populated areas in district Dir and Swat valley have been deprived of their legal right of 80 percent royalty since the execution of the said law. “We will not accept any such discriminatory law, that depriving the people of forest populated areas from their legitimate right, he vowed.
Regarding the growing ruthless cutting of trees in different areas, he said that about 60 to 70 percent forests were illegally cut-down after imposition of a decade long banned as mushroom deforestation was carried out by timber mafia backed by forest officials in the forest areas, he maintained.
He strongly criticised the officials of forest department for failing to stop timber mafia and generate optimal revenue for the last a decade.
He demanded of the government of immediate remove the discriminatory law, to end the sense of deprivation in the areas development areas, and also warned to opt legal option and a launching a series of protests, if their demands were not met forthwith.