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PPP to table bill to protect indigenous property

By Shabbir Mir

GILGIT: Pakistan Peoples Party plans to introduce a bill in the Gilgit-Baltistan Assembly to give ownership rights of barren land to locals.

The development came weeks after the G-B government allocated a vast area of barren land in Diamer district to the army to ensure security for the China-Pakistan Economic Project (CPEC).

“We have done [our] homework and the bill will be tabled in the next session,” PPP G-B President Advocate Amjad Hussain told The Express Tribune. The bill will be titled the G-B Village Common Land (Shamilat Deh) Regulation Act 2016. Amjad was the first person to oppose the government’s move to allot land to the CPEC. He asked authorities to pay compensation for the land acquired.

“This bill will ensure compensation for locals if the government acquires their land,” said Amjad who drafted the bill. He plans to table it in the assembly through Imran Nadeem, PPP’s lone ranger in the 33-member house.

Shamilat Deh

He said of total Shamilat or inclusion, 15% will be reserved for common purposes and 5% for the poorest villagers under the management of the union council. Once enacted into a law, the Nautor Rules 1980 and previous Nautor rules, which he said were against human rights, will stand repealed. Nautor laws deal with the utilisation of wastelands.

“We ask every lawmaker in the assembly to support us to get this bill passed,” the PPP regional president said. He added lawmakers’ disinterest in the matter would amount to disloyalty with their people.

Amjad claimed land worth billions of rupees in Diamer, Gilgit, Ghizer, Baltistan and Hunza-Nagar districts was being allocated to CPEC without paying compensation to the real owners.

Published in The Express Tribune, March 11th, 2016.


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