Prime Minister Imran Khan walks as he inspects the progress on the ‘10 Billion Tree Tsunami’ project in the Makhniyal area of Haripur district on Thursday.—AFP
Prime Minister Imran Khan walks as he inspects the progress on the ‘10 Billion Tree Tsunami’ project in the Makhniyal area of Haripur district on Thursday.—AFP

HARIPUR: Prime Mini­s­ter Imran Khan has said that Pakistan is unfortuna­tely amo­ng the 10 countries wor­st hit by climate change and global warming will have harmful impact on co­m­ing generations if the current trends are not reversed.

“The PTI government is, however, utilising its best efforts to slow down and reverse the harmful impacts of climate change,” he said while speaking at a tree plantation ceremony here on Thursday.

The prime minister warned that if the trends of global warming were not reversed Pakistan would be exposed to serious consequences in future as its rivers were being fed by the glaciers that were melting fast due to warm weather. “If the melting of glaciers continued with the same rate, the country would face serious problems in the days to come,” he said.

PM Khan said his government was committed to slo­w­ing down the impacts of climate change and leaving a better Pakistan for the next generations as the current trend could be reversed. “If the nation shows commitment, the impending harms to environment could be reversed; it is not necessary that once we have chosen a wrong path and now we could not reverse it as is evident from the example of China,” he asserted.

The prime minister also quoted the example of reversing the harmful impact of pollution by Singapore and said that when he visited the country for the first time their main river turned into a sewerage drain but they had changed it into a clean water-carrying river with fishes.

He said the PTI government was trying to slow down the impacts of climate change through positive steps like the 10 Billion Tree Tsunami project, restoration of environment and wetlands, increasing and protecting national parks and conserving wildlife which was badly affected due to tree felling in the past.

The prime minister expressed the hope that restoration of wetlands in the country would help in inviting back the diverse wildlife and birdlife which were in abundance and together with creating new tourism places and livelihood sources for the people.

He said Pakistan was going to host the World Environment Day on June 5 which was a great honour and acknowledgment that Pakistan was among a few countries that were seriously working on reducing the impacts of global warming for their future generations. On that occasion, he added, Pakistan would share with the world how it reversed the trend of depleting environment capital successfully.

Mr Khan appreciated and acknowledged the efforts of Malik Amin Aslam, the adviser on climate change, for his dedication and passion that he had earlier shown during the Billion Tree Tsunami drive for the first time in Khyber Pakhtunkhwa during 2013-14 and now for his efforts to improve the environment through different steps in the country.

Earlier, Mr Aslam briefed PM Khan on the arrangements for World Environment Day and strategies being applied to check the depletion of natural resources and protection of environment from harmful impacts.

Federal minister and MNA from Haripur Omar Ayub Khan, provincial minister Akbar Ayub Khan, DDAC chairman Arshad Ayub Khan and federal Environment Minister Zartaj Gul Wazir also attended the ceremony.

Earlier, the prime minister planted a tree in the vicinity of Makhniyal Forest Rest House.

Published in Dawn, May 28th, 2021

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