Last update: Sat, 13 Feb 2016 07am

Khanka marble reserves: tribesmen urge government to stop illegal excavation

Elders of Gharbaz tribe of Mohmand Agency demanded the government to stop illegal excavation on marble reserves in the tribal agency, and take action against involved people immediately.

The demand was made by elders from Gharbaz tribe of the agency, Malik Mohammad Wazir Safi, Taj Mir Khan, Rehan, Bacha Khan, Ali Haider, Dost Mohammad and Rasheed Khan and others, during a press conference at press club here on Wednesday.

Wazir Safi said the illegal excavation had been carried on the deputed Khanka marble reserve. He alleged the members of local peace committee, have been involved in this illegal practice, including Sherzada, Saaddil, Jamal Shah and Jalat Khan and others. He added the committee members forcibly started excavation on the marble reserve, with connivance of officials of department of mine and mineral, despite the cancellation of lease by concerned authorities, which caused huge financial losses to Gharbaz tribe of the tribal agency.

Tribesman said the illegal auctioning of marble, worth billions of rupees, also inflicted huge of national kitty. He accused the peace committee members have availed support of political administration and officials of Fata Secretariat, to carryout illegal excavation of marble reserve in the tribal region.

The government, he demanded, should take immediate notice for illegal occupying marble reserve, which collectively owned by the entire tribe of Gharbaz of the tribal agency.

He also asked the government to constitute a jirga, comprising of elders from Safi tribe, to hold negotiation for amicable resolution of the issue.

For the last two-year, Wazir said the illegal excavation on marble reserve was being carried out in support of Fata Secretariat on Khanka marble reserve, inflicting billions of rupees losses to the national exchequer.

He regretted that the government was not taking any serious action against the officials' concerned and illegal excavation on marble reserves.

Tribesmen demanded the Federal and provincial governments, Khyber Pakhtunkhwa Governor, Chief Secretary, and other relevant high officials, to intervene and stop illegal excavation of Khanka marble reserve in Mohmand agency.

They warned that they would stage-sit outside Prime Minister House and president House, parliament in Islamabad, if their demand was not meet within next three-days.

Copyright Business Recorder, 2015