For 70 farmers of Marghazar in Swat valley, their 42-year-long struggle has finally bore fruit.
Ownership documents of 800 kanals, which the farmers had been cultivating since before Swat was merged with Pakistan, were distributed among them during a ceremony on Saturday.
Elders of the area also attended the ceremony, during which Member National Assembly Sher Shah Khan distributed the documents among the farmers.
“We are with these farmers and will fight for their rights in the future as well,” Khan vowed.
After Swat was merged with Pakistan, these farmers were evacuated and their lands were taken over by the provincial land commission.
The farmers had contested the decision and filed a case against the commission.
“For decades we had to face troubles, from the revenue department and the provincial land commission, and finally the land is ours. We are more than happy,” said Haider Khan, a farmer jubilant after receiving his land documents.
Zareen Khan, another local farmer, while talking to The Express Tribune, said, “We thank the government for doing what was right.”
He said it was fitting to give them the land which they had been cultivating for decades and which is their only source of sustenance.
Published In The Express Tribune, June 17th, 2012.