PM Imran’s ‘Plant for Pakistan’ faces criticism over lack of foresight

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The Pakistan Tehreek-e-Insaf (PTI) government launched an afforestation drive on September 2 to plant an approximate of 1.5 million trees around the country.

Prime Minister Imran Khan inaugurated the scheme by planting a sapling in Haripur district, Khyber Pakhtunkhwa (KP). Later, he took to his Twitter account to call out “everyone to join this #GreenPakistan drive” in order to fight the threat of global warming and ecological collapse.

“Today we launch our tree plantation drive #Plant4Pakistan across the entire country. I want everyone to join this #GreenPakistan drive so we can counter the twin threats of climate change and pollution confronting our future generations,” he tweeted.

While the initiative was lauded by many, people also criticised the drive for an absence of strategic research and planning.

Last week, the federal government had instructed around 12 provincial departments, all divisional and deputy commissioners to plant trees for ‘plant for Pakistan’ day, however, officials were baffled as no specific instructions came from the federal department.

Frieha Altaf, a Pakistani model and socialite, shared that while Plant for Pakistan “is an excellent drive”, the government should also answer from where the citizens of Karachi “get enough water to make these trees grow” in light of the current water crisis.

“”Plant for Pakistan” is an excellent drive, i planted my tree last week. BUT, where do we get water to MAKE these trees grow? Karachi has no water?” she tweeted.

 

Salman Rashid, travel writer and a fellow of Royal Geographical Society, called out PTI’s candidate for the presidential election, Arif Alvi, for planting a “Conocarpus”, which is a mangrove breed with limited habitat and is unsuitable for the local climate.

“Welcome to Naya Pakistan, Welcome to Hell. The idiot president of the Blighted Republic plants another conocarpus,” he wrote on twitter.

Rizwan Razi, a broadcaster and trainer, made a pun at the PTI government’s expense by sharing that “I hope the government isn’t stupid enough to plant eucalyptus and poplar trees in Punjab, as it did during its tenure in KP”.

TV journalist Zarrar Khuhro called out the government authorities for launching a nationwide initiative without conducting proper training and education about tree plantation.

“I’d suggest that along with #Plant4Pakistan govt should have PSAs etc telling people which trees to plant and how to care for them as well,” he stated on twitter.

 

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