RAWALPINDI   -  Chief of Army Staff General Qamar Javed Bajwa highlighting the significance of trees, on Monday said “trees are life” so every one of us should attach high priority to planting saplings all across the country.

On part of Pakistan Army, he said 10 million saplings during current monsoon would be planted across the country in coordination with civilian organisations at national and provincial levels like, environment agencies, forest departments and agriculture departments.

He was addressing participants of the inauguration of nation-wide tree plantation campaign – Sarsabz-o-Shadab Pakistan - at Race Course Park, where a large number of officers and their families besides schoolchildren were invited to attend.

He said we have gathered here for a national cause as the country was in dire need of having more and more trees to avoid looming dangers of deforestation.

On the occasion, wife of the COAS Mrs Qamar Javed Bajwa as Chief Patron of the campaign said that “we all Pakistanis should come forward and play our role to ably take up the challenge of deforestation”.

Referring to the alarming stage of deforestation in the country, she said it is the time to follow the approach of “now or never.” Pointing out International data on deforestation, she said Pakistan was among seven top countries.

“Sincere efforts are need of the hour,” she said adding we want to give our next generations a greener Pakistan and we will leave no stone unturned to achieve the set goals in this direction.

She suggested that each one of us should pledge that he or she will plant at least a sapling in every season of spring and monsoon. “We should arrange for planting a sapling at birthdays of every child and the plantation should be done personally by the parents or by the child himself.”

MRs Bajwa said every Pakistani has to work shoulder to shoulder with the armed forces in making this tree plantation campaign a complete success. She said that the job would not be over after planting a sapling but we need to take care of them throughout till those attain age of self reliance.

Earlier, a senior officer of 10 Corps gave a briefing on the plantation campaign stating that the patches where forestation can be undertaken at mass level would be identified through satellite images. He apprised that they had already started work in the cantonment and garrison areas of the country.

During current season, he said that ten million saplings would be planted during the current monsoon and the plantation figures would enhance gradually with the passage of time.

 Besides the manual plantation, seeds of various species would be sprayed with the helicopters in the rugged terrain or not reachable areas.

He said that a comprehensive research work had already been carried out to identify the plant species according to the earth specifications and environment of each area in different tropical regions so that specific saplings be planted in the specific areas best suited to their vegetation, germination and environment.

He apprised that on the day of inauguration, on Monday, two million saplings have been planted.

Earlier, COAS and Mrs Qamar Javed Bajwa along with a large number of officers and their families besides school children planted saplings in the park.

The journalists, media persons and anchors, who were invited, also planted saplings to become part of the national campaign.