Thursday, August 5, 2010

Emerging Story - Margallas Hills are full of Gold & Diamonds

It was really hard to believe claims of huge deposits of mercury, gold and diamond in the Margalla Hills, but mining expert Sajjad Hussain having no doubt about findings of his survey demanded of the government to utilise these natural resources for betterment of the country.

Going through his survey report and observing maps prepared by him can make anyone believe in his claims but the relevant departments are yet to confirm whether his findings are genuine or just work of an enthusiast having little knowledge about mining sector. Sajjad Hussain, aged 66, is a resident of Sargodha and has been operating a private company Lease Holder Gold for the last twenty years.

In his interaction with ‘The News’ he said that he was sure that the government can earn Rs160 million per hour if it succeeds to utilise reservoirs of mercury, gold and diamond in the Margalla Hills.

He also presented samples of soil that according to him clearly showed that gold is present in mountains of Margalla Hills. “I am sure that gold, mercury and diamond are certainly present in mountains of Margalla Hills but the government does not allow me to prove my research as it falls in the high security zone.” 

Sajjad said some people in the past came to him and asked to hand over maps of mines in the Margalla Hills. “I gave them maps thinking that they were government officials but after that I came to know about their real intentions. So I informed chief commissioner (Islamabad), minister of state for interior, director general minerals and Chief Justice of Pakistan just to protect precious reservoirs from anti-state elements,” he said. 

In a letter received by Engr. Muhammad Asif, Assistant Director at Ministry of Petroleum and Natural Resources, on December 19, 2009, it was stated, “DG Mines and Minerals (Punjab) visited the area of the Margalla Hills where as per version of Sajjad Hussain mercury was being extracted.” He approached the federal departments when the Punjab government showed its inability to do anything as Margalla Hills falls in the jurisdiction of the federal capital.

It is quite interesting that one of the locations mentioned in the map near Pak Secretariat has been fortified by the local administration but it claimed that it has nothing to do with mining, as it is just a part of security measures. The Margalla Hills are part of Margalla Hills National Park (MHNP) that spreads over an area of about 15,800 hectares and is situated on the northern, eastern and western sides of Islamabad. It was given the status of a national park in 1980, after the government recognized the growing threat to its flora and fauna.

Sajjad wrote a letter to the Chief Justice of Pakistan in which he stated that the government must take measures to utilise natural reservoirs. In reply to his letter to the Supreme Court on June 16, 2010, he informed that his application has been considered by the honourable court.

Saifullah Chattha, Secretary Mines and Minerals, in a letter informed the Supreme Court that DG Mines and Minerals has been deputed to visit the area along with the applicant (Sajjad).

Sajjad said that the government should allow him to conduct a comprehensive survey after which he would be able to prove that there are mines of gold and diamond in the Margalla Hills.

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