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PESHAWAR: The elders of Akakhel tribe of Khyber tribal district have blamed the administration Bara tehsil for forcibly occupying a vast piece of their costly land for construction of a stadium.

They have demanded of Khyber Pakhtunkhwa governor to intervene and ensure payment to the landowners.

Addressing a news conference at Peshawar Press Club on Monday, Malik Sartaj Khan said that they had been living at camps as displaced persons during a military operation in the area in 2014 when the administration occupied their land for construction of Shahid Afridi Stadium near Sheikhan village.

Flanked by other elders including Haji Mir Asghar, Haji Mina Gul, Nawaz Khan and Haji Muhtaram, he said that the 240-kanal piece of land was joint property of 10 sub-tribe s but when the elders met to divide the land the administration did not let them do so.

“We offered the administration a barren land for construction of stadium but the then assistant political agent insisted to get the same piece of land for the stadium at very low price,” said Malik Sartaj Khan. He added that the owners demanded Rs10 million for per four kanals but administration offered just Rs2 million.

He said that the administration had promised to recruit people of their tribe in the stadium but neither the price of land was paid nor the people were appointed.

“Our people are poor as they remained IDPs. They want to construct markets on the land but administration occupied it forcefully,” said the elder.

He added that tribal people wanted to offer free of cost land for the stadium but administration was not ready to pay attention to their request.

The tribal elders demanded of the inspector general of Frontier Corps, provincial governor and officials concerned to help in resolving the issue and remove unrest among the local people as most of the landowners belonged to poor families and had suffered heavily during militancy in the area.

Published in Dawn, July 31st, 2018