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Pakistan demands UNEA to withdraw ‘Champion of Earth’ award from Modi

ISLAMABAD (Monitoring Desk): Adviser to Prime Minister on Climate Change Malik Amin Aslam Friday presented a dossier to United Nations Environment Assembly (UNEA) against India to accentuate Indian eco-terrorism committed in the protected area of Massar Jabba Forest reserve on February 26.

The dossier was submitted in the UNEA session held in Nairobi on the directives of the Prime Minister Imran Khan. It demanded the United Nations to withdraw its award of ‘Champions of the Earth’ conferred on Indian Prime Minister Narendra Modi.

The adviser, while presenting the dossier to 4th UNEA session, maintained that the Indian Air Force on February 26 brazenly dropped their aircraft’s payload in the Pakistani forests.

Aslam said India had harmed the natural reserves of Pakistan through her aerial intrusion. “The act of damaging trees in the name of strike (by India) has caused eco-terrorism. India will have to pay the price for damages made to trees,” he said.

Pakistan’s case on eco-terrorism was strong against India, the adviser said, adding, “We want to enlighten the world about Pakistan’s earnest determination for environment conservation. The UN should take notice of Indian intrusion.”

He said India blatantly obliterated international laws by flouting Vienna Convention.

“This deplorable ‘strike’ is clearly a strike against nature. It has been duly booked under the Khyber Pakhtunkhwa provincial forest act in Pakistan and an independent ‘Natural Resource Damage Assessment’ has already been carried out,” Aslam said.

“Although we reserve the right for taking further legal action and for claiming compensation and retribution for this act, we are raising it at this forum to give a voice to the voiceless – the fallen trees of Massar Jabba Forest reserve – which became the silent victims of this shameful attack on nature. We also want the world to know that Pakistan values its nature, and especially values its trees and forests, and has the will and capacity to defend every inch of our country.”

He emphasised the need at the global level to strengthen international laws and commitments of the global community to take cognizance of such offences against nature.

The adviser said in this regard, Pakistan welcomes the work done by International Law Commission for defining the principles of environment in relation to armed conflicts, especially draft principles 9 and 13 which extend to protected areas such as the affected Massar Jabba forest reserve in Pakistan.

“We also intend to take it up at the UN (Sixth Committee) to urgently and clearly define the term ‘Eco-terrorism’ – especially as it relates to incidents such as this strike against nature,” he underscored.

Aslam went on to say, “Furthermore, any person authorising such a strike is not a ‘Champion’ of the Earth but belongs to the Earth’s ‘Hall of Shame’.”

He also briefed the members of UNEA on initiatives taken by the Government of Pakistan to preserve the environment and said that Pakistan was committed to meet the challenges posed due to Climate Change.

The adviser informed that the Prime Minister Khan’s ‘Clean Green Pakistan’ project was being implemented across the country. The project includes targets of 10 billion tree plantation, solid and liquid waste management, sanitation and cleanliness drive, he added.

Aslam also apprised the Executive Director United Nations Environment Programme (UNEP) Joyce Msuya about Indian eco-terrorism. The UNEP executive director appreciated Pakistan’s initiatives for environment conservation.

She congratulated Aslam on his nomination for Pakistan’s prestigious civil award ‘Tamgha-i-Imtiaz’.