CHITRAL: Alleging massive anomalies in the recent appointments to the newly-established local national park, Baroghil village nazim Amin Jan Tajik has said that not a single local person was considered for the peon, chowkidar and driver posts.
The nazim told reporters here that the wildlife department recently appointed 14 people to different Baroghil National Park posts totaling ignoring the locals though the latter fulfilled the criteria for lower posts and appeared in the interviews.
He said the local people had applied for the six posts of watchers and one post each of chowkidar, peon and driver and fulfilled the basic criteria, but all those posts were claimed by non-locals.
Mr Tajik said in any national park, watchers were selected from the local community for their familiarity with the geography and their stake in the project but ironically, all six posts of watchers in the Baroghil National Park went to non-locals.
He said a resident holding a master’s degree in botany was not considered even for the post of watcher or deputy ranger.
The nazim said the total rejection of the local candidates for the appointments in the project had angered the local residents and that the project was most likely to meet failure due to the irregularities in the selection of staff members, who had never been to Baroghil valley.
He also lamented that the office of the project had been established in Mastuj, which was located at a distance of around 200 kilometers from the valley, and therefore, effective management of the park wasn’t possible from there.
The nazim also said a woman from Mardan district had been selected as social organiser though she did not know Chitrali language spoken by the people of the park area and thus, making the social organisation process an uphill task for her. He added that it was not convenient for a woman to travel to the area driving continuously for 15 hours from the project office in Mastuj area.
An official of the wildlife department claimed that no work had been done in the park as the relevant staff members had never entered the valley, while the season was nearing end as the Baroghil valley received snowfall from November onwards.
He said the department had decided to replicate the experience of Chitral Gol National Park in Baroghil but the fact was put to omission and neglect at the time of staff selection as in the former case, watchers were hundred per cent local people but in the latter, they all were outsiders. When contacted, chief conservator of the wildlife department in the area Safdar Ali Shah confirmed that no one from Baroghil had been appointed to the national park project.
He said the posts from BPS-1 to BPS-5 belonged to the district cadre and from BPS-6 to BPS-11 to regional cadre and therefore, any person could be selected by the department from the district or the division.
Published in Dawn, September 5th, 2017