Chitral : While elected representatives, Administrative officials and NGOs remain silent onlookers, a brave son of Chitral, Shahzada Siraj ulmulk has raised his voice against ruthless deforestation going on in the Arandu area of Chitral. His post on facebook along with some pictures is reproduced verbatim below.
“Please see these video and the pictures. They pertain to ruthless cutting of our forested area in Arandu, Chitral. This is happening at this very time as I write this.This area borders Afghanistan. Contractors of the “Timber Mafia” have started felling these beautiful trees ruthlessly which they are soon going to throw into the Chitral river which flows into Afghanistan. Futher down stream , closer to Bajaur and Dir, people on both sides of the river will pull these logs out. The smugglers on the Chitral bank of the river will show this as “Afghan timber ” and the smugglers on the Afghan side will show it as ” Pakistan Timber”. These handsome young trees of Chitral forests are being raped by both sides. Arandu is a sensitive border area. That is why the Pakistan Army is strengthening our side of the border by constructing roads and making its presense felt. Only a few days a ago the GOC 21 Arty Div, a remarkably good officer, visited Arandu in this connection. It will be very dangerous if the local administration, the police and particularly the Pakistan army do not arrest this ruthless deforestation that is taking place here at this very moment. The local people are already agitated. Today they gathered and came to Drosh to vent their anger and ask the relevent officials of Chitral to intervene before the situation turns ugly. I wanted to play my part by reporting this matter to Commandant Chitral Scouts who is also the Task Force Commander for this area but unfortunately he is out of Chitral. When I finish with this post I shall see the DC and DPO about it. Meanwhile may I request all of you reading this post to lend your support in whatever way you can to save these trees which are still standing to protect the environment of Chitral and eventually Pakistan and the globe.
… CN report, 15 Mar 2018