LAKKI MARWAT: Pakistan Tehrik-e-Insaf Chairman Imran Khan has said that with the establishment of Local Government system powers and funds had been devolved at grassroots level in Khyber Pakhtunkhwa and now the Members of Provincial Assembly (MPAs) will have no nothing in their hands. “The Local Government system in Khyber Pakhtunkhwa is far better than that in Punjab where Chief Minister Shahbaz Sharif has kept all powers in his own hands,” he said this while speaking at a briefing on Tsunami Billion Trees Afforestation Project in Tortala area of Lakki Marwat district on Monday.

The briefing was arranged by Forest Department at a plantation site to show its achievements and performance to the PTI chief. DFO Farhatullah told the PTI chief and other participants that the department has planned to plant 11825000 saplings in Bannu division under Tsunami Billion Trees Afforestation Project during the current year. “Besides roadsides plantation we have selected unproductive, eroded, arid and saline lands as plantation sites aimed to ensure sustainable land management and help locals for useful use of their lands,” he maintained. He said that area people were cooperative and they were offering their lands for forestation.

Provincial Secretary Environment Syed Nazar Hussain Shah, Bannu Commissioner Kamran Zeb and RPO Muhammad Tahir Khan, Lakki Marwat Deputy Commissioner Muhammad Bakhtiar Khan and DPO Ali Akbar Shah, DFO Farhatullah Khan, SDFO Hazrat Bilal and Additional Assistant Commissioners were also present on the occasion. The PTI chief also inspected another plantation site in Wanda Sherdil village and appreciated the local and higher authorities of Forest Department for making strenuous efforts to achieve the targets of tree plantation under Tsunami Afforestation project.

He said that the boosting and increase of forests would help create livelihood opportunities for local communities and alleviate poverty besides raising the living standard of people in the province. He called upon the Forest Department officials to ensure maximum participation of local communities in the project so to make it a success and achieve the set targets of plantation successfully. Imran Khan also uttered appreciating words for KP police and said that the politicians always used the police force to accomplish their vested interests and tease their opponents. “Our government has changed the trend and now police force is completely free from political influence and undue interference by politicians,” he claimed.

He said that more reforms would be introduced in police and other sectors next year, stating that the successful public meeting in Swabi the other day proved that people of the province have witnessed and felt the change and that is why they are backing and supporting Pakistan Tehrik-e-Insaf. Terming peaceful environment inevitable for investment, he said that investors would come if sustainable peace prevailed in the country. He said the overseas Pakistanis wanted to invest but they felt themselves insecure in their own country. He said that PTI government had put education and health sectors on top of priorities, stating Chief Minister Parvez Khattak has recently announced a hefty package for doctors which will help ensure presence of physicians at health facilities in far remote areas and provision of better healthcare to the people.

Pakistan Tehrik-Insaf Chief Imran Khan released falcons at a function in DI Khan district on Monday. The birds had been seized by the Wildlife Department officials from a Peshawar-Karachi bound bus and in separate actions. Imran Khan released two falcons while two other birds of extinct species were freed by Provincial Revenue Minister Ali Ameen Gandapur and Tehsil Naib Nazim Muhammad Rehan.

The occasion was attended among others by Provincial Secretary Environment Syed Nazar Hussain Shah, Divisional Forest Officer Abdul Halim Marwat and officials of district administration. Imran Khan appreciated wildlife authorities for their successful actions against bird smugglers. He also urged the need for taking stern legal action against those involved in illegal trafficking of birds and wild species. Meanwhile, Khyber Pakhtunkhwa Chief Minister’s Adviser for Prisons Malik Qasim arrived here on a short visit on Monday. He went to Begukhel village where he expressed condolence over the death of Mirza Ali Khan, father of PTI leader Inamullah Khan. He offered Fateha for the deceased and expressed sympathies with the members of the bereaved family.