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March 29, 2015

Lakki civic body threatens protest


March 29, 2015

PESHAWAR: The elders of Lakki Marwat district threatened to launch protest campaign if the government did not resolve the issue of the disputed site of oil exploration in Surband village in the limits of Pezu Police Station.
Talking to The News by phone from Lakki Marwat, chairman of Tehrik-i-Tahaffuz Haqooq Marwat, Johar Muhammad and others said the officials of an oil exploration company, Pakistan Petroleum Limited (PPL), came to Lakki Marwat in January this year and fulfilled the legal and technical formalities for the exploration of oil and gas in the area.
He said the local people were surprised at the work on cutting of the Sheikh Bahauddin hill underway since September 2014 for building a road from Dera Ismail Khan to the site of oil and gas exploration.
“After the villagers’ protest, we came to know about the issue and proceeded to the village to inspect the site,”, Johar Muhammad said, adding that he was trying to mobilise the people about the injustice being done to the people of the underdeveloped Lakki Marwat district.
He said the elders of the area led by the Pakistan Tehreek-i-Insaf (PTI) MNA Col (r) Dr Amirullah Marwat held meetings with the Deputy Commissioner Lakki Marwat Ihsanullah Khan and former District Police Officer Muhammad Ismail Kharak to bring the issue into their notice.
He said the district administration ordered studied the issue and according to the new demarcation the site of work was found to be in the jurisdiction of Lakki Marwat district.
He said, “We don’t take away anyone’s right but we cannot let anyone snatch our right, no matter, whosoever he be.”
He said that Jamiat Ulema-i-Islam-Fazl (JUI-F) chief Maulana Fazlur Rehman had been trying to snatch the rights of Lakki Marwat’s people, adding that they would not let him do so.
“A jirga of the local elders has been convened today to chalk out the future course of action in this regard,” he said.
The JUI-F has three MPAs in Lakki

Marwat, including Munawar Khan, Anwar Hayat and Noor Saleem.
JUI-F MPA Munawar Khan said that some elements were trying to politicise the issue, adding that no one could snatch the right of these people. He quoted the JUI-F chief Maulana Fazlur Rehman as saying that the rights of the people of Lakki Marwat or Dera Ismail Khan could not be snatched at any cost.
Former MPA Zafarullah Khan Marwat said an oil company tried to explore gas and oil at the same site from 1969 till 71 and stopped work on the project as the quantity of gas deposits was low while expenses were high. As per law, after 40 years it could be explored again,” he said.
Meanwhile, this scribe tried but was unable to talk to Munir Kamal Jadoon, an official of the Pakistan Petroleum Limited (PPL) in Karachi to seek the company’s version on the issue.

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