Feb 19, 2009

Rs.2.25b forest plan launched in FATA

Associated Press of Pakistan
PESHAWAR: A comprehensive development plan costing Rs 2.251717 billion has been launched to bring maximum area under forests and further improve the vegetative cover in FATA.Out of 2.251717 billion, Rs. 1074.702 million had been utilized while Rs. 427.249 million are being spent during the current financial year. The strategy devised for forest sector development include rehabilitation of denuded hills through extensive afforestation, to halt ecological degradation through raising vegetative cover, sustainable management of the existing natural and man made forests through local community participation and mobilization and organization of tribal communities.Moreover, it include strengthening of tribal system of promotion, conservation and sustainable management of natural forests, creating awareness among the tribesmen about forestry through media celebration of Field Days and massive afforestation campaigns.According to Media Cell FATA out of the FATA's total 68.11,220 across area 5,57243 acre is under natural forest cover while 276090 acres is afforested area. The key point of the strategy is to halt and reverse environmental degradation through increasing vegetative cover.The Forest Department FATA has planned plantation of 8.035 million trees over an area of 14740 acres in FATA during the current spring plantation campaign. Out of this 1,189 million trees would be planted in Khyber Agency alone.Speakers pay tribute to poet Amir Hamza Shinwari: Thoughts of Sufi poet Amir Hamza Khan Shinwari were still relevant and needed more than ever before in today's turbulent times in Pashtun's region. Researchers should explore hidden aspects of his life for guidance and enlightenment of the people. He was a social reformer and wanted peace and tranquility, unity of Pashtuns and universal brotherhood to prevail in the world. Speakers expressed these views while addressing a seminar at Peshawar Press Club here Wednesday arranged under the joint auspices of Hamza Baba Adabi Society and Peshawar Press Club Cultural Tahir Bokhari Bacha renowned writer and spiritual successor of Hamza Baba while presiding over the event said that Hamza Shinwar was the embodiment of Khushhal Khan Khattak's poetic genius and Rahman Baba's spirituality adding that being a multifaceted personality Hamza Baba was yet to be discovered in his true colours. He maintained that Hamza Baba was a prolific writer and contributed immensely to Pashto and Pashtuns, through his writings he wanted to bring about a qualitative change in Pashtun's society and mould their ideas according to the spirit of the age. "He was the greatest Pashto poet and a staunch practicing Sufi of the 20th century who influenced three generations of Pashtuns not only through his words but also through his powerful character. I have rendered six books of Hamza Baba both in Urdu and Pashto to make his message readily available to readers of every taste. The gathering unanimously passed some resolutions. It demanded that staff and books should be provided for the Hamza Baba Cultural Complex at Ladikotal. It was demanded of the provincial culture department and Governor NWFP Owias Ahmed Ghani to extend financial assistance to the ailing Murad Shinwari the only son of Hamza Baba and a literary giant himself. The gathering also asked the ANP led provincial Government to make Pashto medium of instruction till class 10 and also launch Abaseen Pashto TV channel. The programme was conducted by Rokhan Yousafzai.

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