PFI to be upgraded as National Forest University: Imran Khan

PESHAWAR:02 May: Pakistan Tehreek-e-Insaf Chairman Imran Khan on Monday said that efforts would be made to upgrade Pakistan Forest Institute (PFI), Peshawar as National Forest University to impart higher education to students in the field of wildlife, forests and bio-diversity conservation besides extensive research work. The PTI chief expressed these views after formally inaugurating the weeklong PFI golden jubilee celebrations at University of Peshawar. The function was attended besides others by the Khyber Pakhtunkhwa (KP) Chief Minister Pervez Khattak, Adviser to the Chief Minister for Forests and Environment Syed Ishtaiq Urmar, KP Environment and Forest Secretary Nasar Hussain Shah, PFI Director General Hakeem Shah, chief conservators of KP, Punjab, Gilgit-Baltistan (GB) and senior officers of Sindh and Balochistan besides faculty members and senior alumni of the institute in large number. In his address, Imran Khan said that the global warming and climate change is a major challenge and PFI have to make a lead role to counter it through an extensive research work besides preparing young foresters to effectively cope with environmental challenges. Imran Khan said that the forests worth billions of rupees were unlawfully chopped in Khyber Pakthunkhwa in the past making great loss to the national kitty. Imran Khan said that the KP government has tightened noose around the timber mafia and culprits involved in timber smuggling would not be spared adding that the high population growth and impact of climate change would make very negative affect on our economy if not controlled. He said that the environmental changes are the major challenge the country is confronting and we would suffer in future if revolutionary measures were not taken today adding that the environmental changes would certainly reflect on our future generation. Imran Khan said that the improvement in tax collection is imperative to be independent of external sources. To offset the impact of global warming and climate change, Imran Khan said billions of trees tsunami project was launched by KP government to effectively cope with these challenges on scientific lines. KP Chief Minister Pervez Khattak said that the billions of trees tsunami project in KP is moving ahead very successfully and its success is recognised at world level adding that this mega project would not only help counter the challenge of global warming and climate change but are generating jobs opportunities for hundreds of thousands of people. Advisor to the chief minister on Environment and Forests Ishtiaq Khan Urmar said that the government would take strict action against timber mafia and officials found guilty in corruption and malpractices. He said that the elimination of corruption from Environment Department is his top priority and drastic changes would be made to improve service delivery. He said that the areas where forests were cut are being brought under plantation and special focus is being given to promote afforstration in the province adding that the government of KP has introduced Scientific Management Forest Policy and got it approved from the Khyber Pakhtukhwa Assembly to protect the green gold. Forests and Wildlife Secretary Nazar Hussain Shah also spoke on the occasion. Earlier, the DG welcomed the guests and informed them about the history, achievements and role played by the PFI during its 50 years in promotion of quality education in the country. Sports events, debate competition and cultural shows besides get together of senior alumni of PFI would be the main features of the golden jubilee celebrations. Daily Times.