Besti Valley, a breathtaking natural wonder, holds a double-edged secret. Nestled within its scenic mountains lie precious emerald stones worth billions of rupees. However, the wealth extracted from these lands has failed to benefit the impoverished locals. Frustrated by this injustice, the people of Besti Valley recently took to the streets, demanding their rightful share.
The Chitral region, known for its pristine beauty, hosts a hidden treasure trove of emeralds. Despite the extraction of these valuable gems, the inhabitants of Besti Valley continue to struggle with poverty and unemployment. Their discontent reached a breaking point as they staged a protest rally and blocked all traffic.
Speakers at the rally pointed fingers at non-local leaseholders who, under the guise of mining common minerals, had unearthed emeralds worth a staggering hundred billion rupees. Initially, agreements were made to provide royalties, service charges, and infrastructure development in return for mining rights. However, the leaseholders reneged on their promises, leaving the locals to suffer.
Moreover, the use of gunpowder blasting in the mountains not only displaced wildlife to neighboring Afghanistan but also accelerated glacier melting, exacerbating climate change issues in the area.
Allegations of collusion between the leaseholders and certain officials have raised concerns about the nation’s treasury. Despite the wealth extracted, little or no taxes are being paid, and the affected locals face threats when they demand their rightful share.
The affected residents now appeal to the highest authorities, including the Chief Justice of the Supreme Court, the Chief Justice of Peshawar High Court, and the Provincial Chief Minister, to investigate this matter thoroughly. They seek justice, legitimate rights, and royalties for their community, while also highlighting the environmental hazards caused by mining activities.
Furthermore, the people’s health and lives are at risk due to the poisoned water resulting from mining-related blasting. It is high time for their voices to be heard and their rights to be granted in the quest for justice in Besti Valley.