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Imran calls for launching ‘billion tree tsunami’ in entire country

ISLAMABAD: Pakistan Tehreek-i-Insaf (PTI) chief Imran Khan on Monday said the coming generations will suffer heavily because of pollution and global warming unless projects on the same pattern as Khyber Pakhtunkhwa’s ‘billion tree tsunami’ are launched all over the country.

In a tweet, the PTI chief said: “All Pak govts are to be blamed for the destruction of our forests and tree cover in urban areas. Our future generations will suffer heavily through pollution and global warming unless we replicate KP’s #BillionTreeTsunami all over the country.”

His tweet comes at a time when the National Accountability Bureau has launched a probe into ‘billion tree tsunami’ project of the KP government following complaints regarding alleged corruption during execution of the venture.

A team of officers, according to NAB statement, has been constituted to conduct a probe into the alleged embezzlement of funds in the project. A briefing was given by officers concerned of the forest department to director general KP NAB Farmanullah Khan. The briefing was attended by directors and other relevant officers before they galvanize into action.

The team asked questions regarding different aspects of the project such as allocation and utilization of funds, saplings and self-growing seeds, procurement of plants, procedure for plantation, free distribution, hiring of Negehbaan, procedure for payments, etc.

The process of inquiry into the billion tree tsunami project had been initiated following directives issued by NAB Chairman retired Justice Javed Iqbal.

The ‘Billion Tree Tsunami’ project was launched in 2015 by Pakistan Tehreek-e-Insaf chairman Imran Khan aimed at turning the tide on land degradation and loss in mountainous, formerly forested KP.

By August 2017, it was reported the project significantly surpassed its target by restoring and planting trees across 348,000 hectares of degraded forest landscapes in Khyber Pakhtunkhwa.

Inger Anderson, Director General of IUCN, an international NGO, had said in a statement: “IUCN congratulates Khyber Pakhtunkhwa on reaching this momentous milestone. The Billion Tree Tsunami initiative is a true conservation success story, one that further demonstrates Pakistan’s leadership role in the international restoration effort and continued commitment to the Bonn Challenge.”

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