RAWALPINDI: Interior Minister Sheikh Rashid Ahmed on Saturday said Prime Minister Imran Khan’s 10 billion tree plantation programme would turn the country green and make it pollution free.
He was addressing a ceremony held at Saint Mary’s High School where he inaugurated the monsoon tree plantation drive in the cantonment area.
Station Commander Brig Ijaz Qamar Kiani, Commissioner Syed Gulzar Hussain Shah, MPAs Haji Amjad, Seemabia Tahir, Regional Police Officer Imran Ahmar and Parks and Horticulture Authority Director General Zaheer Anwar Jappa were also present on the occasion.
The minister said climate change was affecting the whole world and un-seasonal rains were causing floods in different regions.
“Prime Minister Imran Khan’s Clean and Green Pakistan programme will help bring positive change to the climate,” he added.
Mr Ahmed said all available resources were being utilised to achieve the set targets of the ongoing plantation campaign launched as per the vision of Prime Minister Imran Khan, adding that aggressive plantation was the need of the hour to combat issues of climate change.
The minister congratulated the administration of St. Mary’s School, commissioner, police, forest department and others for the tree plantation campaign.
He especially commended schoolchildren for being part of this campaign, urging citizens, particularly the youth, to come forward and take part in the campaign to make it a success.
Later, Mr Ahmed planted a sapling to inaugurate the monsoon tree plantation campaign.
700,000 saplings planted in Attock
Officials of government departments, teachers and students, politicians, social workers and businessmen planted a record 700,000 saplings in Attock city on Saturday.
The target of planting saplings in a single day was planned by Deputy Commissioner Dr Imran Hamid Sheikh under the ‘Plant for Attock’ drive.
The campaign was inaugurated by Special Assistant to the Prime Minister on Climate Change Malik Amin Aslam.
Speaking on the occasion, Mr Aslam said tree plantation was not only vital for the green future of Pakistan but also ensured a healthy environment for the coming generations.
He said the government had introduced multiple campaigns, including 10 Billion Tree Tsunami and Clean Green Pakistan, to combat climatic issues.
“It is our target to plant 10 billion trees in Pakistan after planting one billion across the country,” the special assistant said, adding that the federal government was targeting to create 200,000 new green jobs by the end of 2021 under its ecological protection and restoration projects.
He said during the current monsoon season, 1.7 million saplings would be planted across Attock, adding that under the campaign, around 1.143 million trees would be planted along the water channel of Ghazi Barotha power project. These would include indigenous species such as Shisham, Bakain, Phulai and Siris and fruit plants like guava, loquat and fig.
He lauded Deputy Commissioner Dr Imran Hamid Sheikh for his initiative to plant 700,000 saplings in a single day.
Under the drive, Punjab Minister for Revenue retired Col Malik Mohammad Anwar, Member of National Assembly retired Maj Tahir Sadiq and Member of Punjab Assembly Jamshaid Altaf planted saplings in the district council building.
Speaking on the occasion, the minister said the provincial government had set a target of planting 50 million saplings during the current drive.
Separately, in a special ceremony organised by the special education department in collaboration with population welfare department, Punjab Minister for Social Welfare and Baitul Mal Syed Yawar Abbas Bukhari kicked off the campaign under which special children planted 10,000 saplings at Haji Shah Dam.
Mr Bukhari called for wide-scale plantation to eliminate air pollution and said collective efforts were needed to create a healthy and green environment.
He stressed that tree plantation was a joint responsibility of all to create a healthy environment for coming generations.
Similar ceremonies were held at the district police lines and district jail where the drive was kicked off by District Police Officer Rana Shoaib Mehmood and Jail Superintendent Farrukh Rasheed, respectively.
Published in Dawn, August 8th, 2021