World Wildlife Day celebrated Zartaj pledges to keep ‘commercial vultures’ off Margalla Hills

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Zubair Qureshi

Minister of State for Climate Change Zartaj Gul on Thursday reiterated her government’s commitment to ban commercial activities over the Margalla Hills saying on that single point, her government, civil society and the Capital Development Authority were on the same page.

“We have to our restore ecosystem, particularly in the 17,000-hacters Margalla Hills National Park (MHNP) and keep the “commercial vultures” away from constructing and bringing brick and mortar there in the name of construction and development,” said Zartaj Gul while addressing a ceremony in connection with the World Wildlife Day (March 3) marked at the Trail-6 of the Margalla Hills.

Member Provincial Assembly Punjab, Hanif Pitafi, Chairperson of the Senate’s Standing Committee on Climate Change Senator Seemi Ezdi, Ambassador of Germany Bernhard Schlagheck, Ambassador of Denmark Lis Rosenholm, volunteers and above all students of New Lands School attended the WW Day ceremony and reiterated their pledge to make Margalla Hills National Park free of all types of pollution causing material.

Pakistan, said Zartaj Gul is the most blessed country where some of the rare and the most endangered species like Houbara Bustard, Markhor, Blind Dolphins, Asian leopards lived and it is up to us to provide them an enabling habitat which ensures their natural life and protection from human interventions.

Without referring to a recent action taken against a restaurant, Zartaj Gul said such actions and decisions of the court for banning construction activities would help restore the eco-system and nature would take its own course to revive and restore natural balance.

Senator Seemi Ezdi also shared the vision of Prime Minister Imran Khan and mentioned the Ten Billion Tree Tsunami project. Never in the past, a government paid such kind of attention to planting trees or providing forest cover as is being done by Prime Minister Imran Khan she said.

On the occasion school children of the New Lands and their project coordinator donated Rs22,000 to the fund of the IWMB for purchase of camera traps.

According to an official of the IWMB, so far Rs57,000 have been collected by visitors, tourists etc and this amount will be spent on purchasing latest camera traps to trace and capture the footage of three leopards that roam the Trail-6.

A walk of the Trail-6 was also arranged for the participants who walked along the routes of the three leopards, Shahzada, Sultan and Shahzadi who are captured in the camera traps patrolling the Trail frequently.

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