Govt committed to make Pakistan pollution free: Zartaj

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ISLAMABAD, Oct 21 (APP):Minister of State for Climate Change Zartaj Gul Wazir Sunday said the PTI government was fully committed to make the country pollution free under the Green and Clean Pakistan drive of Prime Minister Imran Khan.
Talking to members of Chitral Heritage and Environmental Society (CHEPS) here at the scenic spot of Shakarparian, she said it was the prime minister’s vision to provide clean environment to the people and her would soon start a public awareness campaign across the country as to how that goal could be achieved.
CHEPS is a non-governmental organization, which is working for the protection of heritage and environment of the Chitral district. Its volunteers spent a whole day collecting garbage spread at different points of the Shakarparian picnic spot.
The minister said it was also a religious obligation to make environment green and clean, and the religious leaders along with the youth and celebrities would be involved in the drive.
Media, she said, should also play its due role for creating awareness regarding tree plantation, conservation of water, construction of new water reservoirs, saving energy resources, besides dumping and littering garbage other than the designated points.
Zartaj Gul said the Pakistan Tehreek-e-Insaf’s (PTI) last government in Khyber Pakhtunkhwa had successfully launched one billion trees campaign in the province, which was now being replicated across the country to tackle the issue of climate change.
She said strict action would be taken against the timber mafia, who were involved in illegally cutting of trees from the government forests. Steps would be taken to stop deforestation, she added
She said both the federal and KP governments were working on projects to address the energy crises being faced by the people of Chitral.
Zartaj Gul said Chitral was famous for producing the precious dry fruit of pine nut (Chilgoza), but unfortunately the farmers could not get the maximum benefit as they had to sell their produce in raw shape. The government would initiate projects for value addition of the pine nuts, she added.
Replying to a question, the minister said that the government would evolve a proper policy on hunting of Markhor and Siberian birds. The previous governments had given free hand to foreigners for hunting of the rare species, she added.
The minister appreciated the volunteers of CHEP for collecting rubbish and waste lettering at the hilly spot.