ISLAMABAD-Shakarparian Friendship Garden, having 130 plants to track the history, is losing its charm as the tradition of planting saplings there by visiting heads of states has been discontinued and now saplings are being planted at Prime Minister Office Islamabad.

Sources reveal that discontinuation of the said practice has not only disrupted the growth of the garden but reduced the probability for this garden to be reported in Guinness World Records as well.

The International Friendship Garden situated at Shakarparian in Islamabad is a source to track the history of Pakistan’s bilateral relations with other countries as it has 130 trees of friendship, planted by different heads of the states on their visit to Pakistan till 2016.

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When contacted, the Director Environment Metropolitan Corporation Islamabad Irfan Niazi informed that the practice was discontinued in 2016 and now saplings are being planted in Prime Minister House.

“We have enough space at Friendship Garden and it can be extended as well,” he informed.

“The practice should be continued again as the garden is a national asset and we want to report it to Guinness World Records via Ministry Of Climate Change,” he added.

The garden was established by CDA soon after the establishment of the federal capital in Islamabad. It was a tradition that whenever a foreign president or prime minister visits Pakistan, he/she plants a tree at the Shakarparian Hills in Islamabad which is a symbol of friendship between the countries.

The tradition of tree plantation by visiting guests at the garden began on February 21, 1964, when Zhou Enlai, the first Premier of the People’s Republic of China, sowed a seed of the Chinese Tallow Tree, whereas, the last sapling was planted by Senegal’s president on September 7, 2016.

The garden has the highest number of trees planted by the Chinese heads of the state time to time, which includes the trees planted by its Premiers Zhou Enlai, Zhao Ziayang, Le Peng, Zourongji, Wen Jiabao and Le Keqiang, Presidents of China Li Xiannian, Yang Shagkun, Jaing Zemin and Hu Jentao, Chairman of the People’s Republic of China, Vice Prime Minister of China Keng Plao, Chairman Standing Committee of National People’s Congress Ven Li and Chairman Chinese People’s Political Consultative Conference Jia Qinglin.

The King of Saudi Arabia Shah Fasil bin Abdul Aziz Al Saud had planted a sapling in this garden. There are representations of almost all important countries of the world, which include the UAE, Saudi Arabia, Sri Lanka, Kuwait, Malaysia, Bahrain, Russia, Turkey, Afghanistan, Turkmenistan, Thailand, Bosnia, Palestine, Korea, Azerbaijan, Nepal, Philippines, Canada, Senegal, Morocco, Oman, Lebanon, Indonesia, Vietnam, Singapore, Mauritius, France, Japan, Qatar, Bangladesh, Uzbekistan, Iran, Brunei Darussalam, and Kirghizstan. The International Friendship Garden is a bucket of several trees including the Chinese Tallow tree, Chinar, Chir pine, Olive, Diar, Araucaria Cookii, Araucaria excels and Magnolia Grandiflora.

The civic body is doing its utmost efforts to make it one of the most well-prepared gardens of the country. Each tree has the name plate of its planter and also includes the date of plantation.

Although, there are several gardens in the world which are named after friendship, but the idea behind this garden is unique as it owns international history, which should not be ruined.