ISLAMABAD: Climate Change Minister Mushahidullah Khan on Thursday visited the injured forest officials who were thrashed by timber smugglers in Kallar Syedan forests a few days ago.
The minister called for “a nationwide fight against foes of the forests, who are illegally gulping forests for their economic gain without caring that such evil acts would only add to the environmental degradation in the country”.
PML-N MNA Marriyum Aurangzeb and forests inspector general also accompanied the minister to the Holy Family Hospital.
District Forest Officer Iftikhar Farooqi had told The Express Tribune that an illegal logging operation, headed by a notorious absconder named Tari and also employing his son Mohsin, Umair, and 12 other people, was behind the assault on a sub division forest officer (SDFO), two forest guards and a watchman on the night of June 27 near Ghoon village in Kahuta.
He said that police did not take action against Tari
or any of the other men, despite the fact that all of them were nominated in the first information report registered at the Kahuta Police Station.
SDFO Irshadullah Gondal and two other officials are admitted to the hospital. Police have made no arrests so far.
The federal minister urged the Punjab forest minister to play his part in bringing the culprits to book.
He also recommended that the Punjab forest department announce cash prize and give appreciation certificates to the officials.
Khan said country’s forest resources were at serious risk of vanishing because of the timber mafia, which has gulped forests for their personal economic gains at the cost of environment.
The minister said forest officials, who are fighting against illegal logging, should be appreciated and awarded for their services to the environment and the country.
Published in The Express Tribune, July 3rd, 2015.