Rawalpindi   -   The world is facing environmental problems including global warming, ozone depletion and pollution but solution to these problems lies in planting more trees, said Special Assistant to the Prime Minister on Political Affairs Naeem-ul-Haq.

Haq planted a sapling at Expressway to kick off the tree plantation campaign by Parks and Horticulture Authority (PHA) Rawalpindi organised under Plant for Pakistan programme of the government.

Addressing the participants he said that the PHA Rawalpindi was continuing tree plantation campaign in the city as per the campaign of Clean and Green Pakistan.

He said that trees and plants were the prime source of environmental purification and beautification. The government on the directives of the Prime Minister has launched a countrywide drive to plant 10 billion trees in five years to counter challenges of global warming and deforestation, he added. Everyone must take part in the campaign to plant trees else the land will turn into a desert as the glaciers are already melting owing to the global warming, he said. The government is making all out efforts to make the initiative a success, Haq said, adding that the tree plantation campaign would also help address the challenge of growing pollution.

The government is also creating awareness among the citizens, particularly the young generation about the importance of trees and forests, he added.

Chairman PHA Asif Mehmood said that over 5,000 saplings of different species would be planted under the tree plantation campaign. He said that PHA was making efforts to beautify the city and enhance the greenery.

He said that PHA was organising different programmes to sensitise the citizens. To encourage plantation and to turn the city into a green town, the authority had prepared a proper plan which was being implemented, he added.

He said the students, traders, social and political leaders and civil society members were being encouraged to participate in the campaign. The PHA was providing plants free of charge to the citizens during the monsoon plantation campaign.

Efforts would also be made during the campaign to sensitize the people to come forward and participate in the plantation campaign, he said.

Director General PHA Shafqat Raza said that participation of a large number of the parliamentarians, civil society members and others in mega tree plantation campaign has encouraged the authority which was trying to plant maximum saplings as per vision of the prime minister.

On the occasion, Member National Assembly, Sheikh Rashid Shafiq, Chairman Rawalpindi Development Authority, Arif Abbasi, President RCCI Saleem Shahid, parliamentarians, students, representatives of the administration, volunteers and civil society members were present and took part in the plantation.