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ISLAMABAD, Feb 24: Islamabad is a beautiful city and its residents should think twice before littering, said an Indonesian student from the Islamic University, on Sunday, while picking up plastic wrappers along trail 3.

The second year business student was among the 200 plus school and college students gathered at the scenic trail to pick up the litter that others had indiscriminately left. The litter trail unfortunately goes all the way — uphill — to Peer Sohawa.

School children from both government and private schools like Froebel’s International School, OPF, Grammar Public School, International Islamic University, Fatima Jinnah Women University, COMSATS University, participated in the Margalla Hills cleanup operation, walking up the hill and picking up plastic water bottles, chips and chocolate wrappers and shopping bags.

“If only Islooites (residents of Islamabad) could cherish the kind of beauty surrounding them. It’s like a gift that many people do not have,” said the Indonesian student.

While the Managing Director (MD) Pakistan Tourism Development Corporation (PTDC) Mir Shahjahan Kethran echoed along similar lines when he said how healthy tourism activities could only be promoted, if a clean and natural environment was maintained.

PTDC and Adventure Academy jointly gathered the students from different universities, colleges and schools of Rawalpindi and Islamabad to participate in the event “Margalla Hills Cleanup Operation”.

The activity started early in the morning from Trail 3 in Margalla Hills and ended at Pir Sohawa, after a two hours hike.

The event attracted a few diplomats out on their routine morning hikes, who also joined in the cleanup. A special disposal truck of garbage was arranged by the Capital Development Authority at the end of the trail to collect the garbage.

Speaking on the occasion, chief guest Mir Shahjahan Kethran MD, PTDC, said that the purpose of the Operation Cleanup was to highlight the importance of tourism ethics of keeping the environment green and clean.

“I cannot understand how people just throw rubbish around,” said a grade eight student from a private school, adding, “There are wild animals here and especially monkeys who eat the litter and it’s not good for them.”

A Saudi student from IIU said: “This is probably the most beautiful city and the enchanting scenes of Margalla Hills are the epitome of its beauty,” adding, “People should take responsibility and ownership of these trails and keep it clean because it is the pristine environment in the hills that attracts hikers and tourists.” A few parents were pleased at how the youngsters participated vigorously in the activity, hoping that their actions would teach some lessons to those who littered randomly.

At the end of the ceremony MD, PTDC Mir Shahjahan Kethran distributed certificates among the participants of the cleanup operation.