PESHAWAR: Scores of forest royalty holders of Kalkot area in Upper Dir district staged a protest demonstration in Dir Khas against delay in distribution of royalty by the district administration there.

According to a press release issued here, the protest demonstration would be held on daily basis till acceptance of their demands including early distribution of the royalty amount.

The press release said that scores of royalty holders led by Amir Mohammad Kohistani, Hafeezullah, Haji Ijaz, Faqirzada, Mohammad Nisar, Fazlur Rehman and others were holding placards inscribed with different slogans explaining their demands.

They said that around Rs580 million had been released to the district administration for onward distribution among the royalty holders, who were around 10,000 in number.

The protesters said that initially the issue continued to linger on as some forest contractors had filed a suit in civil court and a stay order was issued in their favour.

However, they said that on September 11, the court of senior civil judge, Upper Dir, vacated the stay order and now there was no hindrance in way of distribution of the amount.

The protesters said that despite that the district administration had not been distributing the royalty. They said that if their demand was not accepted, they would march towards Islamabad.

They said that the KP Protected Forest Management Rules, 2005, provided mechanism for distribution of forest royalty among the right holders.

Published in Dawn, September 16th, 2021

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