Cabinet’s ruling on timber trade sparks unrest

 Sun 8 Jan 2017

ASADABAD (SW): Dozens of protestors gathered in Asadabad demanding implementation of the cabinet’s ruling that allowed shipment of timber from Kunar to other parts of the country.

Few days back, the cabinet granted permission to shipping timber from Kunar to other parts of the country. In retaliation to this move, there have been large scale protests in various parts of the country. Those against the move believe the cabinet’s decision would pave way for illegal logging, smuggling and deforestation. Those in favor argue no serious damage would be done to the forests.

One of the protestors in Asadabad who called for the implementation of the cabinet’s decision, told Salam Watandar that the police chief in the province is hindering the transportation of timber to other provinces. “We have sent three to four letters to the provincial government asking for clearance to move the timber, but the police chief and the governor are stopping it”, he said. The protestors claimed police resorted to violence to disperse their demonstration.

Col. Juma Gul Himmat, police chief for the province, asserted that the Sunday’s protest was actually organized by ‘timber mafia’ disguising as traders. He said the police dispursed the demonstration because the protestors wished to harm the peace and order in the city.

Waheedullah Kaleemzai, governor of the province, has blamed the police headquarters for hindering implementation of the cabinet’s ruling into this matter. Lamenting the cabinet’s decision, the governor, however, stressed that he was doing all he can to ensure it is implemented.