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Government Expresses Concern Over Escalating Margalla Hills Fire

Margalla Hills Fire Controlled After Hours-Long Efforts

The frequent fires plaguing the Margalla Hills have raised serious concerns, prompting interventions from Prime Minister Shehbaz Sharif and Interior Minister Mohsin Naqvi in recent days. The sprawling 12,605-hectare expanse of the Margalla Hills witnesses numerous fire incidents annually, with a staggering 15 reported just on Tuesday alone, suggesting potential deliberate acts and human involvement.

Amid suspicions of human involvement, the interior minister has ordered an inquiry and directed for the registration of FIRs regarding the fire incidents. A meeting convened at the CDA headquarters, attended by CDA Chairman Mohammad Ali Randhawa, Chief Commissioner, Inspector General of Police Syed Ali Nasir Rizvi, and others, underscored the urgent need to investigate the matter. Notably, 10 fires concentrated in the Bhara Kahu range over a brief period raised suspicions of mischief.

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The police, in collaboration with the CDA, pledged to probe the matter vigorously and employ modern technology to track down any potential culprits behind the fires. However, the reasons behind these incidents remain unclear, with officials expressing uncertainty about whether the fires were natural or the result of deliberate actions by malicious actors.

Margalla Hills, overseen by both the CDA and Islamabad Wildlife Management Board, have been embroiled in internal tensions between the two bodies in recent years. Some speculate that the fires may be the work of individuals seeking to sow discord between these organizations. Moreover, there are concerns that disgruntled locals, excluded from CDA firefighting efforts, may resort to igniting fires as a form of retaliation.

Despite ongoing investigations and efforts to raise awareness among local communities, the fires persist, with reports indicating that they have spread to a vast area, casting a visible pall over the region. The role of mischievous elements in these incidents cannot be discounted, emphasizing the need for swift and decisive action to address the ongoing threat posed by wildfires in the Margalla Hills.