KHYBER: Scores of people uprooted trees planted in Khyber district by the government as a part of a countrywide plantation drive on Sunday.
Chaos ensued immediately after Pakistan Tehreek-e-Insaf (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.
They staged a protest against the local administration for planting the trees on disputed land without seeking permission. The protesting men had black flags in their hands and chanted slogans against the government.
MNA Iqbal Afridi tried to pacify the protesters but they did not listen to him and started uprooting the recently planted trees. More than 6,000 new trees were planted in the area, according to the district administration.
Deputy Commissioner Khyber Mahmood Aslam said there was a 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.