BARA: The newly-planted trees of a Khyber Pakhtunkhwa lawmaker’s plantation campaign were uprooted Sunday by locals of the Mandi Kas area in Khyber Agency over what they said was “forceful plantation on private land”.
Chaos ensued immediately after PTI lawmaker Iqbal Afridi’s campaign — part of the 10 Billion Tree Tsunami initiative being commemorated on Tiger Force Day — concluded and residents of the area arrived at the site to remove the newly-planted trees.
One of the men who uprooted dozens of plants said the tree plantation drive had been “forcefully” carried out “on private land” of citizens.
In comments shortly afterwards, MNA Afridi admitted that the plantation campaign had been carried out on private property.
“The locals were angry over the unauthorised tree plantation campaign,” the lawmaker said over telephone. “We’re trying to have negotiations with them.”
However, Deputy Commissioner Khyber Mahmood Aslam said there was dispute between two groups over land owned by the Sipah tribe. “One of the groups gave permission for the plantation drive; the other uprooted them,” he said.
Aslam added that authorities were reviewing the situation in order to proceed with legal action over the matter.
KP Chief Minister Mahmood Khan, on the other hand, has taken notice of the incident and ordered action against those responsible for uprooting the newly-planted trees.