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Spring plantation: A viable solution to combat climate change

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Spring plantation: A viable solution to combat climate change

Enjoying ‘Mong yu da Khyber Zalmi’ Pashto song on his mobile phone during the unloading of his truck laden with ornamental and fruit plants, Ali Qadir (30) is asking helpers to hurry up and shift the huge stock through handcarts to his nursery located at Tarnab here before the sun sets.

Called ‘Lala’ by the labourers and fellow plant sellers, Qadir, who is wearing the traditional Chitrali cap, is taking extra care while separating the expansive plants, including araucaria, ganga palms, red roses, night blooming jasmine and gladiolus from other ordinary plants and urges the workers to keep them under the plastic sheds and in the veranda in the wake of climate vagaries.

“I brought these plants from Pattoki, Kasur district due to high-profit margin and varieties of native and exotic plants. Next week, I would again visit Pattoki to bring another truckload of plants after witnessing people’s positive response in the spring tree plantations,” said the graduated plant seller, who inherited the horticulture business from his father, Abdul Qadir, to APP.

“The spring is a peak season for our business and we usually earn Rs 100,000 to 200, 000 from each truck in Peshawar,” he said, adding in case of unfavourable weather and plants’ diseases, the expansive species may wither or die that causes huge financial losses to plant sellers in Tarnab, where about 50 nurseries having around 1,000 labourers earn their livelihood.”

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“Our first priority for the sale of plants is the government and national building organizations, including forest department besides NGOs due to high-profit margin,” he said, adding plants sellers have started receiving substantial orders from the merged tribal districts, Malakand and Hazara divisions on the advent of spring plantations.

“I came to purchase araucaria, ganga palm and chirpine for my newly constructed house. Personally, I like araucaria and ganga palm that was grown in Karachi climate due to its large leaves and closely arranged branch steps compared to Lahore and Peshawar’s varieties. However, prices of these ornamental plants were sky high and beyond purchasing power of poor people,” said Ehsanullah Khan, a businessman from Nowshera district, who was settled in UAE, told APP at Tarnab.

“Three years ago, I have purchased five feet araucaria of Karachi-origin for Rs 4,000, now available for Rs 6,000,” he said, adding it was the responsibility of the forest and agriculture departments to provide plants to people at affordable rates during plantation seasons to offset the enormous challenges posed by climate change and deforestation.

Gulzar Rehman, conservator at KP forest department told APP that 78.93 million saplings were available for spring plantations to be planted with help of government departments, NGOs, farmers and the general public.

Out of these plants, he said that 27.460 million saplings would be sown in southern circle region-I including Kohat, Peshawar, Hangu, Bannu, DI Khan, Karak, Tank and Lakki Marwat, 30.190 million in northern forest region-II of Hazara division including Haripur, Abbottabad, Manshera, Batagram, Kohistan district and 21.28 million in Malakand forest region-III of Malakand division including Swat, Malakanad, Dir Upper, Dir Lower, Chitral, Shangla and Buner districts.

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Besides the target of plantation of 77,569,444 forest plants, he said 783,693 ornamental and native species, including amaltas, chambali, bottle brush, roses, sanata, arjun, alestonia and 580,209 fruits plants including almond, guava, walnut, appeal and peach would be distributed among people.

Gulzar said about 56.277 million plants would be sown through farm forestry and 42.402 million seedlings through farmers. “The forest department has planned to provide 2.117 million plants to Gilgit Baltistan,” he said, adding that GB through the Ministry of Climate Change Islamabad had requested the KP forest department to provide the same for spring plantation.

Besides raising 1.1308 million plants under urban-perri plantation and through masses, he said that 3.075 million plants would be sown through village developmental committees, 5.429 million through defense forces, 2.123 million through educational and religious institutions, government departments and other organizations besides carrying sowing and dibbling over an area of 1260 acres on suitable sites.

Ikhtari Wali Khan, PMLN KP spokesman and former member provincial assembly told APP that the ill planning and poor selection sites of the billion trees afforestation project have badly exposed the PTI rulers’ lackluster policies in KP where scores of sites were washed away by the last year’s floods, incurring millions of rupees losses to the government kitty.

“A large number of trees planted under the billion trees project were prematurely cut in the province, which was a violation of the plantation agreement signed between the forest department and farmers,” he said, adding billion trees project was taken over by NAB that was s big question mark on PTI’s good governance claims and anti-corruption slogans of Imran Khan.

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Muhammad Ibrahim Khan, deputy project director, the 10 billion trees afforestation project told APP that spring plantation campaign was being officially launched next week for which the caretaker chief minister and provincial ministers, commissioners, DCs were approached for the inauguration.

The communities, students, teachers, and general public are being involved in spring plantation being the easiest way to combat climate change and deforestation.

He said that 654.27 million saplings including 353.14 million through 6081 enclosures, 121.39 million through plantation, 150.76 million through farm forestry and the general public etc were planted under the 10 billion trees project up-to December 31 last year.

Ibrahim said the target of plantation of additional one billion trees under 10 billion trees project by June 30, 2023 was likely to be missed in Khyber Pakhtunkhwa due to the washing away of many plantation sites by the last year’s devastated flood, shifting of several forest enclosures from merged areas to Hazara and Malakand division and financial issues.

Besides the billion trees project, he said the provincial climate change policy 2016, range land policy, and REDD plus strategy have been implemented in KP. The experts said that Pakistan’s efforts for the uplift of the green sector have globally been appreciated and underlined the need for early operationalization of the COP 29 UN fund to help climate change’s vulnerable Pakistan. 

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Senator Vawda for reexamination of non-filers’ exemption for Hajj and Umrah

Senator Vawda for reexamination of non-filers’ exemption for Hajj and Umrah

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Senator Vawda for reexamination of non-filers' exemption for Hajj and Umrah

Senator Faisal Vawda has said the exemptions to the non-filers for Hajj and Umrah package should be reexamined.

Speaking at the Senate Committee on Finance meeting on budget, he questioned why non-filers were given exemption for Hajj and Umrah.

He said the media employees’ salaries were cut down during the Covid pandemic which should be returned to them immediately.

However, the committee chairman asked the senator to suggest the meeting what can be done in this regard?

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A meeting should be held with the Ministry of Information to make housing schemes and give incentives to the media workers to mitigate their hardships, Vawda suggested.

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COAS Munir pledges full support for successful implementation of CPEC

COAS Munir pledges full support for successful implementation of CPEC

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COAS Munir pledges full support for successful implementation of CPEC

Chief of Army Staff Gen Asim Munir reaffirmed Pakistan’s unwavering commitment to the strategic partnership with China and pledged full support for the successful implementation of the China-Pakistan Economic Corridor (CPEC), a flagship project of China’s Belt and Road Initiative (BRI).

He expressed the resolve during a meeting with Liu Jianchao, Minister of the International Department of the Central Committee of the Communist Party of China (IDCPC), who called on him at General Headquarters on Friday.

During the meeting, both discussed matters of mutual interest, including regional peace and stability, and reviewed progress on the China-Pakistan Economic Corridor (CPEC).

Mr. Liu Jianchao highlighted that he is visiting Pakistan as a follow up of the successful meetings between the leadership of the two countries in China.

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Also Read: All parties on same page for execution of CPEC project: Deputy PM Ishaq Dar

He emphasised the significance of the longstanding brotherly relations between the two nations and expressed satisfaction with the progress achieved on CPEC, reiterating China’s commitment to its timely completion.

The visiting dignitary also commended Pakistan’s efforts in maintaining regional peace and stability, acknowledging the support of the Pakistan Armed Forces in providing security to Chinese nationals and projects in Pakistan.

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All political parties back CPEC, call it game changer

All political parties back CPEC, call it game changer

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All political parties back CPEC, call it game changer

Jamiat Ulema-e-Islam (JUI) chief Maulana Fazlur Rehman declared that there is a national consensus on CPEC in Pakistan.

Addressing the Pakistan-China joint consultative session, Maulana remarked that China always unconditionally supported Pakistan on the Kashmir issue, and Pakistan similarly supported China on the Taiwan issue. He stressed the need to complete suspended projects with China and enhance further cooperation, asserting that China’s protocol should remain intact.

Yusuf Raza Gilani

Senate Chairman Yusuf Raza Gilani, while addressing the meeting, highlighted that CPEC is a crucial project for economic development and that the fellowship between Pakistan and China is higher than the Himalayas. He described CPEC as the backbone of the Pakistani economy and a warrantor of a better future and development for both countries.

Ayaz Sadiq

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Speaker National Assembly Ayaz Sadiq said that Pakistan and China are supporters of peace and prosperity in the region. He believed that the CPEC project significantly contributed to social and economic development. Sadiq noted that CPEC would be strengthened by promoting relations between the political parties of Pakistan and China and that the BRI project further reinforced the ties between the two states. He mentioned that the CPEC project faced disinformation in the past. He said that despite it the project remains a catalyst for poverty reduction, economic growth, and trade promotion.

More to read: Pakistan, China agree to explore opportunities under CPEC

Ahsan Iqbal

Federal Planning Minister Ahsan Iqbal, speaking at the China-Pakistan Consultative Mechanism meeting, highlighted the unique friendly relations between Pakistan and China. He reiterated the national consensus on CPEC and assured that the Pakistani nation would never forget China’s support. Ahsan Iqbal stressed the importance of working together to secure the future and that the exchange of delegations would foster harmony between politicians from both sides. He highlighted that the political parties’ sitting together demonstrates a united political leadership. He thanked the Chinese leadership for their cooperation during Pakistan’s challenging times and mentioned that two-sided relations and cooperation were discussed during the Prime Minister’s visit to China.

Hina Rabbani Khar

Pakistan People’s Party leader and former minister Hina Rabbani Khar affirmed that all political parties are united in support of CPEC and underscored the significant role of Pakistan and China in the global scheme. She praised China’s progress in science and technology and noted that the People’s Party leadership laid the foundation for Pakistan-China relations. She mentioned that these relations were continued by Benazir Bhutto, Asif Zardari, and Bilawal Bhutto. Khar welcomed the representation of all political parties in the joint session. 

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