BATTAGRAM: Allai tehsil elders here on Sunday asked the district administration to evict the armed people of the neighbouring Kolai-Palas district from the disputed Chorr valley.

They made the demand at a jirga held at the deputy commissioner’s office.

The jirga was called after the people of Kolai-Palas intruded into the Chorr valley and killed cattle owned by Battagram residents.

Ownership over the valley has been a longstanding issue between Allai tribes and Kolai-Palas people, which has resulted into armed clashes.

A jirga was also held recently, in which elders from both the areas had decided that no one would intrude into the valley. However, more than 50 armed men of Kolai-Palas violated the agreement by entering the disputed land.

Speaking at the Sunday’s jirga, elders, including Akbar Namos Khan, Habibur Rehman and others, threatened that they would be forced to take up arms if the district administration didn’t evict the armed people from the disputed area.

They said the district administration had bound them during the earlier jirga to not take up arms, and promised to settle the dispute peacefully. They added policemen had also been deployed in the disputed area, but even then people of Kolai-Palas entered the valley without any hindrance. They said the armed people had also killed their 10 buffaloes.

On the occasion, deputy commissioner Ashfaq Khan said his administration would hold a meeting with the Hazara division commissioner to help resolve the dispute peacefully.

Published in Dawn, August 2nd , 2021

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