ISLAMABAD/ SHEIKHUPURA: Prime Minister Imran Khan and Russian President Vladimir Putin in a telephonic conversation on Wednesday exchanged views on the evolving situation in Afghanistan and bilateral relations. The Prime Minister, who received a telephone call from the President of Russian Federation, stressed that a peaceful, secure and stable Afghanistan was vitally important for Pakistan and regional stability. Besides ensuring safety, security and protection of rights of Afghans, an inclusive political settlement was the best way forward, he added.
The Prime Minister underscored that the international community must stay positively engaged in support of the people of Afghanistan, to help address the humanitarian needs and ensure economic sustenance. He underscored the importance of coordinated approaches in addressing the evolving situation and noted that Pakistan attached
high importance of the role of the Troika Plus format. The Prime Minister expressed satisfaction at the upward trajectory of Pakistan-Russia relations, with increased high-level exchanges and growing cooperation in diverse fields.
He reiterated the government’s resolve to strengthen trade relations as well as bilateral collaboration in energy sector, including early realization of the Pakistan Stream Gas Pipeline Project. The two leaders agreed to closely cooperate within the Shanghai Cooperation Organization (SCO) for promoting regional peace and security. The Prime Minister reiterated his invitation to President Putin to visit Pakistan. Earlier in the day, Prime Minister Khan inaugurated a “smart forest” in Rakh Jhok Forest, Sheikhupura as part of the Ravi Riverfront Urban Development Project (RRUDP). This is Pakistan’s first smart forest, PM Imran Khan said while addressing the inaugural ceremony.
He said the Ravi riverfront city project is expected to contribute approximately $40 billion to the country’s economy and create around one million jobs. The premier inaugurated the forest by planting a sapling. The sapling is a first of its kind, as it is equipped with technology sensors and surveillance systems. The sensors will instantly identify whenever a
tree is being cut. Speaking on the occasion, the premier highlighted the importance of the smart forest. “We need to make Pakistan a better place for our next generations,” he said.
The prime minister stated that he has witnessed massive forest destruction in the country
which has had an adverse impact on the wildlife. He added that Allah has blessed Pakistan with a lot of resources that should be protected. Speaking about pollution, the prime minister said that Lahore was once called the “City of Gardens”, however, the city is now facing severe environmental destruction and pollution. The premier further said: “This project was initiated in Pervez Musharraf’s era, however, PML-N’s government failed to implement the project.”