Govt to devise comprehensive policy to address environmental issues: AJK PM

Muzaffarbad (AJK): May 30 (APP): Prime Minister of Azad Jammu Kashmir Sardar Tanveer Ilyas Khan on Monday said that government would chalk out a comprehensive policy to deal with environmental issue by taking all stakeholders on board.

He expressed these views while commenting on the adjournment motion moved by opposition member Mian Abdul Waheed in the Legislative Assembly.

“We do have laws but lack of implementation of the existing laws is the key hindrance in protecting the environment”, the PM said adding that under the “Clean and Green Kashmir” initiative the government would take all possible measures to tackle this issue on priority basis.

Relentless deforestation was one of the key problems that must be tackled head-on. Unplanned construction was yet another issue that can also lead to environmental problems, he said, adding, “Our government has imposed a complete ban on unplanned construction along rivers.”

Lauding the leader of the opposition Chaudhary Latif Akbar and other members for their valuable suggestions on the matter, the PM assured the house that in consultation with the opposition, the government will formulate a long-term policy to tackle the environment issue.

Highlighting the role of opposition in parliamentary democracy, the PM said “opposition is as important as the government”. The government and the opposition are like the wheels of a car.”

Sardar also appreciated the former AJK PM Raja Muhammad Farooq Haider Khan, saying that steps taken by the former premier with regard to financial autonomy of the state were commendable. “I feel no shame in paying tribute to their (opposition leaders) good deeds”, the PM said adding that one should demonstrate magnanimity and appreciate good deeds of opponents.

“When someone dies, people start praising him. We must prove our maturity by praising the good deeds of the people when they are alive”, he said.

The PM said the formation of a ten-member committee to propose measures to address the environmental concerns was a commendable step. The government, he said, would take every possible measure to implement the committee’s report.