Peshawar: the members of civil society have expressed deep concerns over uncontrolled incidents of wildfires in various parts of the KP district over the last three to four weeks. They have demanded of the government to take immediate action against the ones involved in destroying the already depleting forest and wildlife resources of Pakistan. The representatives of the civil society said that merely dry weather conditions cannot be held responsible for the destruction of the vital resources of the country. They have demanded of the govt to probe into the forest fires in different parts of the province, especially in the Swat Valley which is a famous tourist resort.
A renowned environmental journalist Ahmed Jawad Alam said, “The forest reserves are already under stress in Pakistan owing to demographic explosion and climate change. He said Pakistan is already ranked as the top high-risk nation in the region, the loss of huge forest tracts and fragile ecosystems is an example of an existential threat to Pakistan’s future”. He lamented that the ongoing political divide in the province has contributed fully to this sorry state of affairs. Speaking on the issue Chairman Hayatabad Council City Metropolitan Engr Usman Marwat said that blaming dry weather, accidental grass fires, and local enemities cannot absolve the government of its responsibilities. He said that grave ecological and man-made challenges are matters of worthy concern.
He said, “This is certainly not a routine event. Promising inquiry and action against arrested offenders do not inspire public confidence.” Another journalist demanded, “Honest forest officials and representatives of local communities have alleged connivance of top-ranking KP representatives working hand-in-glove with land-grabbers and timber mafia. The backers and handlers behind this blaze deserve to be held accountable through transparent investigation and prosecution,” a local journalist demanded. An Islamabad based development expert Hamid Afridi said, “The unseen sinister and criminal hands causing environmental terrorism must be exposed, apprehended, punished and made examples for posterity and ensuring the rule of law. This crime against fragile ecosystems, the environment, and the people of KP is too grave to be left to departmental inquiry alone and let it be buried under a bureaucratic cover-up.”