Dispute over Torkham terminal land acquisition continues

3 Min Read

ISLAMABAD: The dispute over the acquisition of land on the Pakistan-Afghanistan border in Torkham continues as construction work took up the speed to complete the project by the end of this year, reported Dawn.

The Khuga Khel tribe alleged that the Federal Board of Revenue (FBR), with whom they had originally signed an agreement on the provision of over 300 kanals of their collective land near the Torkham border for the construction of the terminal, had changed the designs and moreover had taken their 400 kanals of land without their consent.

With the FBR opting to stay in the background, the tribal elders ‘pointed their guns’ at the National Logistic Cell (NLC) since it was awarded the contract and present on the ground to execute the construction plan.

Earlier, Scores of Tribesmen held a protest at the Bacha Khan Chowk on Sunday and raised slogans against the National Logistic Cell (NLC) for allegedly occupying their collective land in excess of the land acquisition agreement they had reached with the Federal Board of Revenue, as per Dawn.

Addressing the protesters, Khuga Khel elders Mufti Ejaz, Qari Nazeem Gul, Mirajuddin, Malak Lutfullah, Kalimullah, Haji Ilyas and others alleged that hundreds of kanals of land were unlawfully occupied by the National Logistic Cell (NLC) despite repeated protests.

Khuga Khel elders said their tribe was not against the construction of the terminal. However, they stressed that a proper legal procedure for land acquisition and due compensation for the owners should be followed, according to the Dawn report.

They claimed that NLC adopted a “divide and rule” policy by talking to a group of “so-called” Khuga Khel elders to reach an agreement as per their liking while ignoring the actual representatives and depriving them of their ownership rights.

The tribal elders said that the NLC could not befool them any more. The tribal elders threatened to stop the construction if the authorities do not give a positive response by March 16.

According to them, the livelihood of hundreds of locals was related to the business activities at the Torkham border.

They claimed that some government departments were depriving them of their legitimate earnings in the name of the new border policy, as per the Dawn report.

They alleged that thousands of local labourers and porters were rendered jobless due to the implementation of a visa policy which they stressed was against the legitimate easement rights of the local tribes living on both sides of the border. The terminal was conceived in 2003, however, the construction did not begin until 2015 due to the security situation in the region. (ANI)

Share this Article