SWABI: Residents and elders of two union councils (UC) convened a jirga on Sunday in Anbar village and rejected the provincial government’s imposition of Section 4 of the Land Acquisition Act, 1894, on their lands. The Khyber-Pakhtunkhwa (K-P) government intends to use the property to establish a much-touted Education City.
Elders of Anbar and Kunda UCs Mazhar Ali and Muhammad Zahir gathered with others in the village on Sunday morning and decided not to give their lands.
This land is my land
The section entails notifying locals that the government will acquire their land for public-sector projects after paying the landowners. The amount of this compensation is fixed by the government.
Ali, while addressing the jirga, said former K-P chief minister Amir Haider Khan Hoti had demanded 500 kanals to establish University of Swabi which the people agreed to. But now, he added, the government has imposed Section 4 on around 3,000 kanals which is unacceptable to locals.
Another elder, Hamayun Khan, argued the land is agricultural and cannot be given to the government as around 1,200 residents of Anbar and 800 of Kunda will be affected after the Education City is established. The land is rich in minerals and 90% of the people are associated with farming, added Khan.
“Life will be paralysed in these localities as around 100 families were affected when they gave their land to the government for establishing the University of Swabi and now the government is demanding even more from them,” said Zahir.
He claimed the government is trying to occupy land where people have invested in orchards, tobacco farms and tube wells. “We will protest against the decision and do whatever it takes to keep possession of this land.”
Published in The Express Tribune, April 28th, 2014.
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