KARACHI   -   Prime Minister Imran Khan on Saturday said that Pakistan ranks 8th among counties most affected by global warming, fearing that the upcoming generations would have to face its dire consequences, if more and more trees are not grown.

“Sindh needs more and more plantation to offset the rate on which trees have been cut and forest land grabbed,” the prime minister emphasised while speaking at the inauguration of Bagh Ibne Qasim opened after restoration and renovation on Saturday.

The premier performed the inauguration with the planting of a sapling.

Speaking on the occasion, the PM stressed the need for more such places and green areas for citizens.

Flanked by Sindh Governor Imran Ismail and Karachi Mayor Waseem Akhtar, Imran Khan said that the government has planned planting 10 billion trees across the country in the next five years, adding that the Environment Minister has been tasked with to remain in touch with the Sindh government and the local government of Karachi.

The premier asked the citizens to participate in the campaign launched by the federal government for tree plantation. “There is a need for preserving the available green areas and a proper strategy should be devised in this regard,” he stressed. The premier went on to say that construction on vacant lands should be banned and instead the government should plant trees there.  Appreciating Karachi Mayor Waseem Akhtar for his efforts to restore and renovate Bagh Ibne Qasim, Imran Khan said that he is quite amazed to see such a “wonderful park and Akhtar deserved to be lauded as he has done brilliant job for the people of Karachi.” “It is very important for Karachiites that their green areas should be preserved as well as more such places are established. Our children should be provided friendly environment,” the premier underscored. “Along with parks, playing grounds are also need of the hour for our children,” Imran pointed out and quoted legend cricketer Javed Miandad as informing that “now the number of stadium has decreased considerably as stadiums of his era were encroached.”

The prime minister regretted that now Karachi depicts the look of “a concrete slap” as greenery has vanished from the metropolis.

Meanwhile, the Sindh governor expressed gratitude to the Prime Minister for announcing Karachi package and said that the development of Pakistan lies on the development of Karachi. He said that tree plantation would assist them to cater the climatic change.

Court extends remand of Durrani

An accountability court on Saturday extended physical remand of Sindh Assembly Speaker Agha Siraj Durrani until April 12 in assets beyond means case.

The National Accountability Bureau (NAB) had sought 15 days physical remand of Durrani for further questioning in the case.

During hearing, Siraj Durrani told the court that the NAB officers repeatedly asking him same questions, which he had already replied. “They are not questioning me about any new matter,” he said.

The PPP workers present outside the court premises welcomed the party leader when NAB officials brought Durrani in an armoured vehicle to produce him in the court. The NAB prosecutor informed the court that evidence about purchase of vehicles and property has been found. He claimed that the investigation has found evidence of money-laundering against Agha Siraj Durrani as well.

He said no more questioning will be required from Agha Siraj after the accused on bail will record statements. The NAB will inform the high court if the accused on bail will not join the investigation, the counsel further said. He said the people who didn’t have a motorbike holding millions of rupees bank accounts. The investigation trying to collect substantial evidence against them, he added.

Talking to media Durrani said that he will go to any forum for justice, adding that he hopes justice from the accountability court. The SA speaker said that he is imprisoned and not being allowed to meet anyone. Replying a question, he said that any alliance between the MQM and the PTI would have no impact on the PPP government, which is ruling the province and it would remain in power, Durrani claimed.

He said these things are part of the politics, “we are working to continue our government in Sindh.” He said “I will do what the law says,” adding that “nothing comes to surface (against him) in the NAB investigation till now”.