‘Conservation of forests a national duty’ MUZAFFARABAD: Azad Jammu and Kashmir Prime Minister Raja Farooq Haider on Wednesday said that conservation and proliferation of forests was a national duty that must be carried out individually as well as collectively.
He was speaking at the launch of monsoon plantation drive in Saran, the famous hill resort towards the east of Muzaffarabad, after planting a sapling.
“Forests are not only the backbone of our economy but also ensure a secure future of our next generations,” he said.
He pointed out that the biggest problem being faced by the world was environmental pollution and that could only be overcome by increasing the vegetative cover.
“I want to turn Azad Kashmir into an environment friendly state,” he vowed, adding, in AJK forests were of vital importance also for a prolonged life of Mangla dam.
The prime minister said the government would not tolerate mafias involved in forestland grabbing and timber smuggling as well as their facilitators in the forests department.
He exhorted the forests department to work “on a war footing” for preservation and proliferation of trees.
“The officials concerned should ensure implementation of laws envisaging protection of forests and stoppage of timber smuggling or else they will be sent packing,” he declared.
He announced that the government would try to provide cheap and uninterrupted electricity to the rural areas so as to discourage the practice of hacking of trees for fuel.