The participants of Karoonjhar Conference organised by Thar Sujag Sath here on Sunday resolved to offer the stiff resistance to foil all nefarious attempts to damage the Karoonjhar hills by resorting to the extraction of the precious granite from any point. Terming the ongoing extraction at certain points of the hills as the flagrant violation of the orders of the Sindh High Court, they said that it was high time to stop and to expose the influential figures acting as ‘salesmen’ of precious granite stones of Karoonjhar hills . They demanded that the entire Parkar be declared as a World Heritage Site and be provided with all required facilities for tourists including resorts and chairlift on the hills.
They said that double bench had directed the officials of the concerned departments to not only ensure the complete ban on the extraction of both granite and gravel but also to carry out the complete studies in the light of the pleas of the lawyer of the petitioner
The participants, who had arrived in Mithi town from different areas of Tharparkar and other districts to show their solidarity with the people of Parkar and Thar, who have been protesting against the illegal practice, highly lauded the activists to register their peaceful protests to protect their heritage sites.
The participants assured the organisers that they would be ready to go any length to save the beautiful Karoonjhar hills, which according to them, were not only home to centuries old religious places like Jain Temples, but also kept great significance in the history of Sindh.
” The history of Sindh will be totally incomplete without mentioning the unmatched beauty of Karoonjhar and the history of the freedom fighters, who had laid down their lives while defending the their motherland from invading forces, who had attacked several times to conquer Sindh” added Allah Rakhio Khoso, the chief of Karoonjhar Sujag Forum in his charged speech.
He said that each and every inch and stone of Karoonjhar hills was not only sacred for the people of Parkar but also for every person who was in romance with beautiful landscapes and Karoonjhar hills. Mr Khoso deplored the fact that hills which had been famous for producing the ‘pure gold’ everyday were being damaged for some coins.
He said that had first launched their movement by forming their forum in a very peaceful manner after some contractors were allowed to extract the stones for the construction of the small dams adding he deplored that though that practice was stopped after the strict orders passed by the double bench of Sindh High Court in response to his petition but the fresh move to to cause more damage was very unacceptable and painful . ” Its cruel act that time to time contractors and miners are allowed to extract the granite stone by causing the irreparable loss to the hills with no action in the light of the court orders” he added and invited the large number of the participants to visit the sites where the miners were still busy in extraction with the heavy machinery. Mr Khoso expressed his deep grief over the alleged double standards of the PPP leaders and lawmakers from the desert district, who, according to him, had always assured them to stand by them in public meetings but were actually doing nothing when the very existence of the hills was again put in jeopardy.
The eminent writer Khalid Kumbhar said that now Thar was under control and watch of the greedy people of corporate companies and they wanted to exploit its resources without fulfilling the required legal formalities mainly due to alleged criminal ‘silence’ on the part of the lawmakers and policy makers adding he warned that such acts would deprive Tharis of their rich culture and historical sites in near future if such acts were not resisted at all the available forums.
” It is the prime responsibility of the key stakeholders to speak for the people of Thar” he added and noted with concern that those mattered much in policy making were nowhere to be seen among the people, who had been forced to come the roads to protect their culture, heritage and demography from being damaged terribly.
The PTI leader Krishan Sharma said that the executives of the mining companies engaged in the extraction were directly supported by the PPP leaders, who, according to him, had never bothered to focus on the core issues of Thar were instead acting as the salesmen of Thar.
Mr Sharma said that it was the height of injustice with the people of Thar that their lands were being dragged from under their feet and PPP lawmakers were only interested in making money by extending support to those who were doing all that dirty business. He said that the homeland of great freedom fighter Rooplo Kolhi could be saved only when all people came on the roads and boycotted the PPP leaders, who were directly involved in such criminal activities.
He said that people of Parkar had voted for the PPP candidates in the hope of getting some protection of their minerals and Karoonjhar hills but they were now hobnobbing with the officials of the companies, who were casting evil eyes on the sacred stones.
The senior journalist and writer Dastigr Bhatti said that PPP rulers over the past 13 years of their ‘misrule’ had only plundered the resources of Sindh and had not felt any remorse to auction the sacred places like Karoonjhar hills. He said that Asif Ali Zardari and his cronies had put every thing of Thar for ‘sale’ to perpetuate his powers by hook or by crook adding he warned that the extraction of granite from Karoonjhar was not just the height of the cruelty with the natural beauty of Sindh but was also an ample proof of the greed of PPP leaders, who had allowed their ‘financiers’ to damage such sites.
Ameer Azad Panhwar, the central leader of Sindh United Party said that it was a matter of grave concern for each and every nature lover that wicked rulers were hell bent upon destroying the hills. He made it clear that people from all walks of life would offer their stiff resistance to thwart their develius designs to do more damage to the hills . Mumtaz Nohrio, the journalist from Tharparkar held PPP MPA from Parkar Qasim Siraj Sommro for his double standards and asked him to clarify his stance over the unabated extraction of the minerals from his constituency. ” Mr Soomro after winning the elections from the region was now unwilling to even meet his voters’ he added and asked him to mend his ways since people of Thar knew how to treat such arrogant and greedy people. Mr Nohrio said that people of the region could not be lured any more and now they knew the ill-intentions of all of those, who were trying to push them towards the wall and depriving them of their culture and heritage sites.
Fakeer Arshad Kumbhar, one of the organisers, thanked the people attending the conference and assured them that they would deviate from their stance to protect Karoonjhar hills.
Khatau Jani, Salim Samejo, Dayal Sehari. Bheemraj Meghwar, Akash Haimrani, Shams Mangrio, Ms Neelam Kumari, Zulfikar Ali Khoso, Ramazan Dal, Soomar Rahimoon, Kabir Bheel, Abdul Ghani Bajeer, Piyaro Shivani, Arbab Bheel, Obhayo Junejo, Ghansham Malhi and others also spoke on the occasion and resolved to protect the rich resources of the entire desert district by standing side by side with the people of Parkar region.