CHITRAL-People held a protest demonstration in front of the Deputy Commissioner Office against the imposition of mineral tax at Chitral.

Elites from different parts of Chitral gathered and protested against the district administration and Mine Department. They said that their land being eroded due to flood and river was the personal land but the district administration was trying to declare the land as the state property.

They said that they have preservation about land settlement because their survey was not authentic and they had tried to convert the personal land of local people into state property. They showed some verdicts of the apex court and Peshawar High Court that the case had been decided regarding river belt in their favour.

The protesters said that there were less number of lands that can be used for agriculture etc because major part of their land was damaged by flood and the river water flow.

They said that Swat, Shangla, Lower and Upper Dir, Malakand are also parts of Malakand Division but the government never imposed the tax in these districts. But people of Chitral are most cool minded and civilised and they hesitate to come on the roads but it does not mean that their rights would be snatched from them, they said.

They chanted slogan against deputy commissioner and alleged that first he called them for a meeting but later he closed the main gate of his office and referred them to ADC whose office was also closed. Later, additional Deputy Commissioner Minhasuddin met them and talked them at his office. During the meeting with ADC it was decided that the issue would be settled within one month. The protesters through an unanimous resolution demanded the Chief of Army Staff for intervention in the issue so as to save the peaceful environment of Chitral.

They demanded immediate cancellation of the tenders invited for auction of the river belt etc. They were led by Shazada Gul, shahzada Riaz, Dr. Haidarul Mulk, Syed Muzaffar Jan and Qazi Iftikhar Advocate etc.