Islamabad, July 18 Pakistan Prime Minister Imran Khan said a 'green Pakistan' guarantees a prosperous future for coming generations and asked the nation to join hands in achieving the target of planting 10 billion trees to fight climate change and environmental pollution.
Speaking at the launch of this year's monsoon tree plantation drive near Kahuta on Friday, Khan said that in order to address the growing pollution levels and national environmental degradation it was vital that concerted efforts were made to plant trees extensively across the country, reports Dawn news.
He regretted that forest cover in the country had rapidly depleted over the years.
The premier also mentioned the alarming level of pollution in Lahore and said that lack of trees posed a serious threat to human health.
He said the matter would be addressed by his government on a priority basis.
Khan referred to the recent announcement about nine new national parks in the country and said the country had 30 such parks since independence in 1947.
He said the number of such exclusive zones, where the plants and trees could grow and wildlife flourish, would be further enhanced in days to come.
Khan said that his government had launched an ambitious project to plant 10 billion trees across the country and in the past two years, it had planted 30 million trees while new nurseries were working at top speed to increase the number to one billion by June next year.
"A green Pakistan is my dream," Dawn news quoted the Prime Minister as saying.
"It is my appeal to you to plant a tree, and it is all the more important to protect this seedling so that it grows into a healthy tree; it has to be saved from not only wild animals, but also the mafia that deals in timber."
( With inputs from IANS )