–Asks UN to take away ‘Champion of Earth’ award given to Indian PM Narendra Modi
Pakistan on Friday submitted a dossier to the United Nations (UN), urging it to declare India as an ‘environmental terrorist’ for bombing trees and harming animals on Pakistani soil.
The move comes after Indian jets carried out a botched air strike in the Balakot area, leading to heightened tensions between the two nuclear-armed states. Global powers mediated to de-escalate tensions between the two countries.
“On February 26, Indian air force planes dropped payload shamefully on Pakistani forests and tried to damage the country’s environmental assets in the attack,” said the dossier submitted to the UN.
The dossier also urged the United Nations “to take notice of India’s eco-terrorism”.
“New Delhi harmed Pakistan’s trees in the attack and by doing so, it violated the Geneva Convention. Therefore, the UN must take the ‘Champion of Earth’ award once given by the global organisation to Indian Prime Minister Narendra Modi.”
“The act of damaging trees in the name of strike (by India) has caused eco-terrorism. India will have to pay the price for damages made to trees,” he said.
Pakistan’s case on eco-terrorism was strong against India, the adviser said, adding, “We want to enlighten the world about Pakistan’s earnest determination for environment conservation. The UN should take notice of Indian intrusion.”
He said India blatantly obliterated international laws by flouting Vienna Convention.
“This deplorable ‘strike’ is clearly a strike against nature. It has been duly booked under the Khyber Pakhtunkhwa provincial forest act in Pakistan and an independent ‘Natural Resource Damage Assessment’ has already been carried out,” Aslam said.
“Although we reserve the right for taking further legal action and for claiming compensation and retribution for this act, we are raising it at this forum to give a voice to the voiceless – the fallen trees of Massar Jabba Forest reserve – which became the silent victims of this shameful attack on nature. We also want the world to know that Pakistan values its nature, and especially values its trees and forests, and has the will and capacity to defend every inch of our country.”
He emphasised the need at the global level to strengthen international laws and commitments of the global community to take cognizance of such offences against nature.
The adviser said in this regard, Pakistan welcomes the work done by International Law Commission for defining the principles of environment in relation to armed conflicts, especially draft principles 9 and 13 which extend to protected areas such as the affected Massar Jabba forest reserve in Pakistan.
“We also intend to take it up at the UN (Sixth Committee) to urgently and clearly define the term ‘Eco-terrorism’ – especially as it relates to incidents such as this strike against nature,” he underscored.
Aslam went on to say, “Furthermore, any person authorising such a strike is not a ‘Champion’ of the Earth but belongs to the Earth’s ‘Hall of Shame’.”
According to the UN General Assembly resolution 47/37, “destruction of the environment not justified by military necessity and carried out wantonly, is clearly contrary to existing international law.”