Plant for Pakistan programme
The spokesman of Khyber Pukhtunkhwa Forest department has claimed that 5 million sapling have been planted in a single day across the province in Aforestation Campaign under Plant for Pakistan to offset the growing impact of climate change. The provincial government also claimed that under the previous PTI led government the area under forests has been increased by 6.3 percent. But this year in one person-two plants under Plant for Pakistan campaign massive plantation shall be done across the province. In the city of Peshawar alone 150,000 saplings will be planted in Peshawar alone.
There is no denying the fact that after the formation of government by PTI in the center and provinces of Khyber Pukhtunkhwa and Punjab, the aforestation drive has gained momentum. The Prime Minister has called for 10 billion tree plantation. But this bitter fact can also not be denied that unbridled deforestation is also going on unabated in the northern districts of Khyber Pukhtunkhwa. Last year, the people of Swat gave a sit in right in front of District Forest Officer to protest against the collusion of forest officials with Timber mafia in merciless wood cutting. To pacify the resentment of the people an inquiry committee was set up but neither its report was made public nor were the officials who may have been hand in glove with timber mafia in deforestation brought to justice. This year not only forest cutting is taking place but a number of incident of setting ablaze the saplings which were planted in earlier billion tree plantation programme of the previous PTI government were reported in print media. In the forest fires on the mountains of Malakand Division and Haripur district of Hazara Division 210,000 plus plants of 3 to 4 years age were reduced to ashes. Again the Chief Minister has set up an inquiry committee to probe the matter. But the people who are now aware of the importance aforestation believe that no action will be taken against the people who are responsible for illegal wood cutting in forest at a large scale and the ones involved in setting forest on fire in the month ofJune.