Minister Sherry Rehman seeks report on burning of trees in Islamabad's Blue Area

Published May 28, 2022
A burnt tree lies on a greenbelt near Faizabad Interchange. — White Star
A burnt tree lies on a greenbelt near Faizabad Interchange. — White Star

ISLAMABAD: Minister for Climate Change Senator Sherry Rehman on Friday sought a report from the Capital Development Authority (CDA) on the damage to ecology caused by PTI protesters who set trees on fire in Blue Area.

In a statement, the minister said it was a matter of concern that trees were burnt in a political demonstration.

“Trees are the lungs of our city. Burning trees is a crime against the city and its citizens.” She said the ministry had requested the CDA for a report on the total number of trees burnt and the damage to the ecosystem of the city.

“Peaceful demonstration is a democratic right of all. Pakistan People’s Party (PPP) recently marched from Karachi to Islamabad for 10 days, and not a single pot was broken,” Ms Rehman said.

“Whoever has burnt the trees should be punished,” she said.

A few trees were also burnt around the Faizabad interchange where the police and demonstrators clashed on Wednesday during the PTI demonstration.

According to an official in the CDA, it was not yet clear who the culprits were who set trees on fire.

Residents of Islamabad were also distressed to watch on their television screens trees ablaze in Blue Area and sections of greenbelts along Srinagar Highway.

PTI offers help to restore greenbelts

The PTI on Friday offered its services to help the CDA for restoration of greenbelts and trees damaged during the party’s recent march.

PTI Islamabad women wing President Munira Javed in a letter to the CDA chairman said the party had a comprehensive environment policy and programme. She said PTI Chairman Imran Khan had launched a billion tree tsunami project and always advocated tree plantation.

She said during the Azadi March, police used massive tear gas on the PTI workers that affected the greenbelts and trees, adding the PTI would voluntarily work with the CDA for restoration of the greenbelts and trees.

Islamabad’s Blue Area remained a battleground for the PTI protesters and the police on Wednesday night. In a bid to reduce the impact of the tear gas, some people put trees, dry grass and leaves etc, on fire.

Published in Dawn, May 28th, 2022

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