Green living: Imran announces plans to open Balahisar Fort to public

Published: February 10, 2014
PTI chief Imran Khan.  PHOTO: REUTERS

PTI chief Imran Khan. PHOTO: REUTERS


The women of Peshawar will soon have a new ground to walk on as Pakistan Tehreek-e-Insaf’s (PTI) Chairman Imran Khan announced that they will transform Governor House into a park for them.

The party’s chairman said the historical Balahisar Fort, Central Jail Peshawar and Khyber-Pakhtunkhwa’s 32 rest houses will also be converted into public spaces.

While speaking at the inauguration ceremony of the Khyber-Pakhtunkhwa (K-P) Green Growth Initiative held at the Pakistan Forest Institute on Sunday, Imran Khan said in order to promote tourism in the province, new tourist spots will also be built. Money generated from these locations will then be injected into health and education sectors of the province, so that the public can accrue all benefits of the revenue stream.

Khan claimed forests in the region had been cut down ‘mercilessly’ in the past, adversely affecting the environment, including an increase in air and water pollution and the erosion of land.

“Deforestation plays a contributing factor in causing natural calamities, air and water pollution. In an effort to reverse these effects, which pose a serious threat to our environment, we will plant trees, across 37,000 acres of land,” said the MNA. He also revealed that the provincial government will also create national parks in various districts of the province which will accompany a ban on the cutting of trees and the use of plastic bags.

Later in his address, the PTI chief also revealed that Google Earth will be utilised as a monitoring tool for the national parks, whereas the provincial government will engage in tourism promotion to attract visitors from all across the globe, urging people to contribute to the province’s newly found green initiative. In an ultimatum to the land mafia and those involved in deforestation, Khan said those who persist with such illegal activities will have to face the music.

Going into details, Imran Khan said the Frontier Corps (FC) will be directed to vacate Balahisar Fort, because the K-P government has planned construction of hotels and eateries around the fort, in an act to attract visitors to the centuries old site. The FC has inhabited the fort since 1948. Viceroy Lord Curzon placed the FC Headquarters (HQ) as Balahisar Fort in 1948, where it has remained since. However, the K-P Assembly recently passed a unanimous resolution asking the FC to hand over the historical fort to the civil administration so it can be open to the public.

PTI’s grand plan to promote tourism in the province also includes relocation of Central Prison Peshawar and the opening of the present premises to the general public.

K-P Chief Minister Pervez Khattak, who also spoke on the occasion, corroborated Khan’s revelations on the green initiative by saying that a policy has been devised for a greener province.

Khattak said a ministerial committee has been constituted and a green growth expert group was formed for the green growth initiative, adding PTI is going to launch a billion-tree tsunami campaign where 200 forest nurseries will be established for the said purpose.

Besides members of the provincial assembly, PTI provincial leadership, members of Insaf Student Federation and Insaf Youth Wing were also present on the occasion.

Published in The Express Tribune, February 10th, 2014.

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Reader Comments (17)

  • Kksri
    Feb 10, 2014 - 10:50AM

    Who will risk visiting a state where Taliban are ruling? Let IK live for a month in Peshawar along with his sons. Then people will trust him.


  • fahad
    Feb 10, 2014 - 12:32PM

    Hahaha…pmln.trolls will find some thing negative no mattwr what. All i can say is wait and watch PTI for next 4 years. PMLN will be non existant after 4 years.


  • Taimoor
    Feb 10, 2014 - 12:56PM

    @Kksri: Whole PTI KP govt, ministers and PTI MPAs are living happily in their province and struggling with their people. Since Imran is from Punjab, he is living where his house is. His children are living with their mother, any problem?

    What kind of cheap argument is this? How about you living for A DAY in FATA and then supporting military operations and drones?

    There is no threat of Taliban rule. It’s a figment of American apologists’ imagination who want war. There was NO TTP before drones and military operations.

    Stop being paranoid and appreciate good work of PTI govt.


  • Asad K Shaikh
    Feb 10, 2014 - 1:29PM

    @Kksri People trust him. Its just a naiive few who dont want to see him succeed. That includes you.


  • Dr. Gulfam Javed
    Feb 10, 2014 - 1:47PM

    please let some one do something…..
    try to go around in lahore in dark wen u r alone
    i think results would b even worst than Peshawar………


  • omair shahid
    Feb 10, 2014 - 2:00PM

    people of Pakistan will visit it first


  • Fahad
    Feb 10, 2014 - 7:38PM

    A product of ignorance and dogma: behold a PTI follower.
    How about telling your great IK to convert the CM house into a park too but wait that’s held by a PTI CM so that won’t happen.
    PTI and IK have one truly exceptional quality: their ability to make their followers believe in any and everything they say as the holy truth and nothing but a divine truth. IK can be a leader of this lot of Pakistani ignorance but not of a nation.
    P.S: good work PTI to improve KP tourism.


  • lkhan
    Feb 10, 2014 - 8:47PM

    IK has made a great statement. Protecting the environment, promoting tourism in one of South Asia’s most beautiful city historically speaking is an excellent beginning of sustainable economic development. Protection of the ecosystem, biodiversity, reforestation will not only benefit KP, but generate employment, give the inhabitants pride in their treasures, and a respect for nature. If the local communities are involved in all these endeavours from the beginning, it would further enhance the programme. Most exciting!!!
    Employment and increasing a middle income population would too keep people away from terrorism, especially if education and health are improved.. Good training institutions for men, women, minorities in the services sector to promote tourism would further improve incomes.


  • saifqureshi
    Feb 10, 2014 - 9:13PM

    excellent! keep’em comingRecommend

  • Ada
    Feb 10, 2014 - 9:18PM

    Excellent initiative and I am very confident about the turn around of K-P’s economic woes after the five-year term of the PTI. Have got the right mix of ideologues and policy makers.
    Focus more on social development in the coming months PTI-KP and you will soon be leaving Punjab behind. Sindh: knock knock, knocking on heavens door! Haha No chance even in a millennium with the current PPP leadership in power.


  • Ada
    Feb 10, 2014 - 9:22PM

    @ fahad: He will be the leader of Pakistan soon dear and then no 35-punctures will be able to save the PML-N from the deluge. Its a competitive model now and K-P will be giving a lot of that in the coming months to the iron-hand, nepotism-driven govt of the Shah-e-Lahore.


  • syed
    Feb 10, 2014 - 9:22PM

    Ik is not leader of ignorant people but a leader of future leaders
    he is really a charismatic leader in Pakistan,I thought that people
    in Punjab will free to vote and in casting vote but spent some time over
    I came through experience that people in Punjab are bond to chodrahat, and elect
    even some of the criminals people from their constituencies. As ik is concern people of
    pukhtoon khwa have chosen him for their free will let
    him work for wellbeing of kpk.


  • hbutt
    Feb 10, 2014 - 9:34PM

    Copying Governor Punjab ? Not only he made the site open to public but also refused to take any salary.


  • ARW
    Feb 10, 2014 - 11:51PM

    Governor House? Isn’t that comes under Federal Govt? Can any please elaborateRecommend

  • nyc
    Feb 11, 2014 - 4:53AM

    haters gonna hate…And khan is gonna keep on succeeding..


  • Fahad
    Feb 11, 2014 - 10:20PM

    I’m sorry I really don’t think he will be the leader of Pakistan (or is even capable and deserving to be the leader?). You see outside of the PTI bubble there are many like me too who do not support PTI and our votes definitely won’t go to PTI. I did mistakenly vote for PTI in 2013, my foolish mistake but at least I’ve learnt!
    I do hope he does work for the people of KPK because they need the development and education much more.


  • ar
    Feb 13, 2014 - 12:15PM

    Haters gona hate

    Fact is Fact

    IK is the only leader in Pakistan worthy enough of being the Head of State.

    I voted for PMLN in the last elections, but now have sworn to follow PTI forever and ever no matter what.


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