Clean and green Pakistan vital to attract tourists: speakers

LAHORE : A clean and green Pakistan will attract tourism – an avenue that largely remains untapped despite huge potential to bring valuable foreign exchange to strengthen the country’s economy.

“Pakistan is our country and home. Therefore, we must keep it clean, tidy and green, which will have great positive impact on our environment and health,” said speakers at a seminar on “Prime Minister’s Vision – Clean, Green Pakistan” held in connection with Cleanliness Day on March 29, 2019 by Mir Khalil-ur-Rehman Memorial Society (Jang Group of Newspapers) and Lahore Waste Management Company (LWMC) at a local hotel on Saturday.

Punjab Minister for Law, Parliamentary Affairs and Local Government Basharat Raja said the Clean and Green Pakistan drive across Punjab would commence from March 18 in order to create awareness among people to keep their surroundings and the entire country free of filth and pollution. “A whopping amount of Rs 13 billion is being spent on cleanliness only in Lahore, while not a single rupee contribution is being made by posh localities to keep their city clean,” he added.

He also slammed the previous governments’ tree plantation campaigns twice a year and said trees were nowhere to be seen around.

Punjab Minister for Irrigation Mohsin Khan Leghari lamented that the people had established jungles of concrete instead of tree forests proliferating industries at a fast pace without any planning to secure the environment from their hazards.

LWMC Managing Director Khalid Nazir stressed the need to ensure cleanliness in one’s life for the good of life in this world and hereafter. Filthy environment breeds diseases which increase the load of patients in hospitals, he added.

He said, “We will observe Cleanliness Day in Lahore on March 29, while Local Government Department has also announced observance of a cleanliness week all over Pakistan,” he added.

Jamia Naeemia Nazim-e-Aala Maulana Dr Raghib Naeemi said that Islam preaches cleanliness, therefore, people must inculcate habit of being neat and tidy in their children besides ensuring cleanliness of their surroundings, city and entire country.

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King Edward Medical University (KEMU) Vice-Chancellor Prof Dr Khalid Masood Gondal said, “Hand washing and over cleanliness of body, household and environment keeps the diseases away.

Punjab University College of Earth and Environmental Sciences Principal Prof Dr Sajid Rashid, Government College University Political Science Department Head Dr Khalid Mazoor Butt, KEMU Public Health Dean Dr Saira Afzal, SP Investigation Dr Anoosh Masood, Women Chamber of Commerce and Industry President Faiza Amjad, Medal Outstanding Services President Naeem Tahir, Geo programme “Khabarnaak” hosts Ayesha Jehanzeb and Ali Mir, dermatologist Dr Sehrish, Human Rights France Chairman Chaudhry Safdar Barnali, Aurat Foundation Provincial Manager Nabeela Shaheen, Humaira Mubarak Bhatti, Fatima Rizwan and Maulana Abdul Sattar Niazi also spoke on the occasion.

MKRMS Chairman Wasif Nagi hosted the seminar. LWMC Communication and Information Head Jamil Khawar gave a vote of thanks while Khaliq Hamid recited the verses of Holy Quran and Na’at-e-Rasool (SAW).

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