Monday, November 29, 2021
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Establishment of national parks in Gilgit Baltistan resisted

Gilgit: Opposition Leader in the Gilgit-Baltistan Assembly Amjad Hussain Advocate has expressed objections over the government’s plan to establish two national parks in GB without protecting the rights of local people over their natural resources.

He said the issue would be raised during the upcoming assembly session. Talking to media persons here, Mr Hussain said the recent decision to establish the Himalaya National Park covering 1,989 square kilometres area in Diamer, and Nanga Parbat National Park covering 1,196 square kilometres area in Astore and Diamer without devising a mechanism to protect local people’s rights and without taking GB representatives into confidence would be strongly resisted.

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The opposition leader said in Gilgit Baltistan people depended on their lands to earn a living by cultivation and rearing livestock. He said the people won’t be allowed to either construct houses or carry out any cultivation on their lands once the national parks were established.

Amjad Hussain questioned what the fate of hundreds of local people would be serving in the wildlife department to protect forests and wildlife at paltry Rs. 1,500 per month under the community conservation concept.

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He said according to the international laws indigenous people had the foremost right over their natural resources, but the move would deprive GB people of economic benefits from natural resources.

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