ISLAMABAD                  -              Prime Minister Imran Khan has directed the Punjab government to prepare a strategy to deal with timber mafia, which are involved in massive cutting down of trees.

Addressing the inaugural ceremony of Spring Tree Plantation Campaign in Mianwali on Sunday, he said that the PTI-led government is working on the agenda of making Pakistan a prosperous Islamic welfare nation on the pattern of the state of Madina.

The prime minister reiterated the government’s resolve to make Pakistan a welfare Islamic state in lines with the vision of founder of the nation, Quaid-e-Azam Muhammad Ali Jinnah. 

Imran Khan expressed the government’s resolve to provide job opportunities to youth, alleviate poverty, and control inflation through prudent economic policies. The prime minister said the government will provide six million health cards to people across Punjab out of which 5 million have already been issued.

He said the government will provide interest-free loans to eighty thousands people per month, while fifty thousand scholarships will be provided to undergraduate students every year.

Shedding light on the significance of the plantation, the prime minister said the government is planning to introduce a subject of Tree Plantation in the curriculum across the country.

He said the youth has a major role to play in making the tree plantation drive a success.

He said the government’s ‘Clean and Green Pakistan’ initiative in Khyber Pakhtunkhwa received global acclamation.

The prime minister directed the Punjab Administration to prepare a strategy to deal with timber mafia, which are involved in massive cutting down of trees.

Imran Khan also appreciated efforts of the Punjab government in providing basic facilities of education, health and clean drinking water to masses.

Earlier, the prime minister inaugurated the plantation drive by planting a sapling at Kundian area of Mianwali.

On the occasion, the prime minister said “I want all the people of Piplan especially the youth to listen to me carefully because your youth don’t yet realise the importance of tree plantation for Pakistan.

He recalled that when he came to Mianwali in his childhood there was a jungle in Kundian but today when he viewed the area from his helicopter he could see no trees.

“And the people of Pakistan don’t know the importance of jungles,” he said.

“We don’t know the blessings God has given us. How many of you know that God has given Pakistan 12 seasons? How many countries have 12 seasons? Every sort of thing and fruit can grow in Pakistan.”

He said that often goods such as sugar and vegetables become expensive in Pakistan.

“In this country, things should never become expensive because with the land we have been given and the water and seasons we have been given, we should be providing these products to the world,” he said.

“There should never be a shortage of anything here. It is our fault that we did not make the correct use of the blessings God have given us (Pakistan).”

Meanwhile, the prime minister also attended Namal University’s convocation ceremony where he stressed upon the youth especially students to clearly identify a roadmap of life with clear objectives to achieve their aims and “always learn from the bitter lessons of life”.

He said: “You can achieve everything you have pictured or dreamt of in your life. In this struggle, human being could stumble over hurdles and difficulties. But these stumbling blocks should not lead you to frustration.”

While focusing on his vision to build a welfare state, the prime minister said Quaid-i-Azam Muhammad Ali Jinnah and Allama Iqbal wanted establishment of a true Islamic welfare state on the pattern of world’s first welfare state of Madina which was established by the Holy Prophet (Peace Be Upon Him).

“It is the most successful model for the world to emulate and a great civilisation emerged on the basis of these modern principles,” he said.

The country which adopted those principles achieved progress, he said, adding that even the Scandinavian countries are progressing as they have adopted the basic principles of humanity.

Highlighting China’s example how it pulled its people out of poverty, he said: “In China, its leadership, had resolved some 30 years back to lift a huge population from the poverty and now it is the fastest growing economy in the world with its GDP growth rate hovering around $30 trillion.”

He also said a strong nation would rise on the principles of state of Madina. “The main thing is to correct the life path as science could not answer two things, i.e., the basic aim of life and what to happen in the life hereafter.”

The premier also welcomed and thanked UAE Minister for Tolerance Sheikh Nahayan Bin Mabarak Al Nahayan for attending the convocation. “The UAE proved as a friend in need and helped us at a time when we faced probably one of the critical economic challenges.”

He also mentioned the support extended by the leadership of Saudi Arabia and China which helped the PTI government to manage the national economy.

“My country will never forget the way you stood with us in the time of need.”