Staff report PESH: Khyber Pakhtunkhwa province plans to raise a special force to protect forests from powerful timber mafia, generate jobs for youth and protect rights of forest communities.
The provincial government has allocated one billion rupees for the project as the force would be equipped with sophisticated weapons, trucks and other necessary gears to guard the forests. The scheme is part of the Green Growth Initiative launched a year ago in Peshawar by PTI chairman Imran Khan.
He said that his party has decided to leave a better Pakistan for the future generations and the forest protection is one of the steps to make it happen.
“The timber mafia chopped down forests worth 100 billion rupees illegally in the last ten years in the province and we arent going to happen this again,” he said. He also said that youth from forest communities would be recruited for the new force named as “Forest Nigahbans” to protect the forests from the timber mafia, fire and goat grazing.
“We have declared a jihad against timber mafia that cut down trees in connivance with politicians and forest department officials,” he said.