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Hosting World Environment Day a big honour: PM

HARIPUR/ISLAMABAD: Prime Minister Imran Khan Thursday said that force behind government’s 10 Billion Tree Tsunami Project and other such endeavours was its objective to leave behind a Pakistan with protected environment and free from pollution.

“One objective (of our environment-friendly initiatives) is to mitigate the impacts of the climate change. Secondly, we want to leave behind a Pakistan as we have seen when there used to be huge forest cover, wildlife, clean water and no pollution. But the situation deteriorated as no one pursued long term approach,” the prime minister said while addressing a tree plantation ceremony in Haripur.

The prime minister planted a Deodar sapling at Makhniyal Forest -- the site where he had also launched KP government’s Billion Tree Tsunami and federal government’s 10 Billion Tree Tsunami Project.

The prime minister appreciated the efforts of SAPM Malik Amin Aslam for success of Billion Tree Tsunami and ongoing efforts for 10 Billion Tree Tsunami Project which were being recognised globally. He said Pakistan would host World Environment Day on June 05 which was acknowledgment of Pakistan being among few countries making efforts to address the challenge of climate change.

“This also shows that we really want to leave behind a better Pakistan for future generation,” he added. He said just like India, Pakistan’s rivers were fed by glaciers which were melting fast and could be large issues in the future. Imran Khan said the previous governments did not pursue long-term approach and called for learning lessons from Chinese model of reversing the damages to environment. He said through Billion Tree Tsunami, the government was striving to protect the wetlands and revive the wildlife which had reduced to a great extent.

Meanwhile, Imran Khan Thursday expressed hope the Muslim world would again go back to the basic principles of the state of Madina, which were embedded by the Holy Prophet (PBUH). “Because those basic principles are according to our great Iqbal, one of the greatest thinkers of the Sub-Continent, who said that whenever in history the Muslims have risen up, they have always gone back to the old principles of Islam,” he said in his virtual speech at International Conference on Civilizational Values in The Prophet's (PBUH) Seerah, organised by the Islamic World Educational, Scientific and Cultural Organization at Rabat, Morocco.

He said the Holy Prophet (PBHU) was the greatest human who stepped on this earth. “Firstly, our Prophet (PBHU) created the greatest civilisation on earth and that civilisation was based on the state of Madina, which the Prophet (PBHU) set up. The state of Madina was based on two principles, number one was rule of law.

“Our Prophet (PBHU) said that even if his daughter committed a crime she would be punished and secondly said that many nations before you have been destroyed who had one law for the powerful and the rich and one for the weak and the poor. In other words nations which did not have rule of law, who had the law of the jungle, might is right, were sooner or later destroyed,” he noted.

Imran said that great nations always were based upon justice. “The second thing our Prophet (PBHU) set up was the first welfare state in the history of mankind. First time, the state took responsibility of the weak section of the society, the poor, the orphans, the widows even the elderly because for the first time we heard of pensions was in the time of the second Khalifa Hazrat Omar (RA), where the state took responsibility of the old,” he said.

“So, this was a unique state, first it took care of its weak and secondly, it brought the powerful under the law. Even today, this is the main thing which distinguishes a civilized society from what is called a Banana Republic. And the societies that are closer to these two principles are the ones that are prosperous and the other societies with which do not have rule of law and which do not have compassion are relegated to the dustbin of history. We have seen the latest rising power China. The Chinese took out over 700 million people in 30 years out of poverty,” he explained.

Meanwhile, Imran Khan expressed satisfaction over the progress made on the projects and their positive impact on the construction and housing sectors in particular. Chairman New Pakistan Housing Authority Lieutenant General (R) Anwar Ali Haider called on Imran Khan and during the meeting, Imran Khan was apprised of the progress made on the ongoing low cost housing projects under the New Pakistan Housing Authority.

Minister for Inter-Provincial Coordination Dr Fehmida Mirza also met Imran Khan and discussed in detail the key points of Pakistan's new sports policy. Separately, Imran Khan met Defence Minister Pervaiz Khattak.