Dawn News

CHITRAL, Sept 7: Broze villagers have demanded cancellation of a local marble quarry’s lease over its violation by the leaseholder.

In a meeting chaired by former local union nazim Abdul Haq, notables of the village complained that the leaseholder had violated the terms of the agreement and deceived locals.

They also said the leaseholder had miserably failed to exploit marble deposits, which needed mining along scientific lines.

The notables said the marble of the quarry was of high quality and had great demand in national market and therefore, its proper digging could help generate jobs for locals and bring progress to the area.

They also complained about non-payment of local tax by the leaseholder. “The contractor’s cheque to pay tax was returned by the bank as he’d no money in his account,” a notable said.

The speakers said the tax in question was to be used for community development, especially by helping youths do small-scale business.

They complained that the leaseholder had neither begun work on the marble quarry nor had he cleared the community payments over one year. The notables also criticised the mining and minerals department for ignoring their complaints. They demanded that the federal government cancel the lease agreement before awarding it to Pakistan Stone Development Company, which had the capacity to exploit marble, for better results. They threatened to agitate if the government didn’t accept their demand within two weeks.

Meanwhile, Abdul Latif, Rehmat Ghazi Khan and Mohammad Qasim of Pakistan Tehrik-i-Insaf on Friday said their leader Imran Khan would visit Chitral on September 15 to address a public meeting. They told reporters in Chitral that Mr Imran’s visit would historic and it would change the course of local politics.

The PTI leaders said people of the region were disappointed in all mainstream political parties, especially the ruling PPP and ANP, and PTI had emerged as a ray of hope for them.

“More and more people are joining us firmly believing that only Imran could ensure effective end to their misery. The PTI leaders criticised the provincial government for seizing the building of Polytechnic Institute in Chitral to establish a campus of Abdul Wali Khan University.— Correspondent

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