BAJAUR: Residents of minerals-rich Kamangra area of Bajaur tribal district have asked the authorities not to issue excavation contracts to outsiders without their consent.

The demand was made during a jirga in Nawagai on Monday, days after a group of residents staged a protest demonstration against issuance of NOC to a non-local person for excavation of minerals in the region, and torched his excavator.

Residents of five villages of the region attended the jirga.

The participants expressed concern over the provincial minerals department’s decision to issue NOC for excavation of minerals in the area to an outsider, which was in violation of an agreement signed between the district administration and the local people.

Elders, including Malik Mohammad Umar Khan, Malik Saleem Khan, Maulana Khan Zeb and Maulana Roohul Ameen, criticised the minerals department for awarding mines excavation contract without their consent.

The speakers pointed out that it was clearly mentioned in the agreement that the local people would be given priority in award of excavation leases.

They said the agreement also bound the authorities to take locals into confidence before finalising a contract.

The jirga decided that no outsider would be allowed to get lease for exploiting minerals in the area.

Published in Dawn, December 1st, 2020

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