In Pakistan, the theme for Ismaili CIVIC in 2021 is Environmental Protection. The Regional and Local Ismaili Councils, with the support of volunteers, organised a national plantation drive ‘Darakht se Hayat’ (Life from Tree), which was supported by the participation of government and public officials, religious scholars, members of civil society and local dignitaries.
The first plantation of Darakht se Hayat took place in Lower Chitral where Jamati volunteers planted saplings of loquat, fig, amlok, pomegranate and acacia. Speaking on the occasion, Colonel Muhammad Ali Zafar, the Commandant for Chitral Scouts expressed, “To protect the future of our children, we need to focus more on planting trees rather than cutting them. I am thankful to Riaz Hussain, President of the Ismaili Council for Lower Chitral, who gathered us for this noble cause.”
In Gilgit, volunteers planted saplings of deodar, saro, morpang and other plants while in Upper Chitral, volunteers from the community planted varieties of saplings at the Government Girls Degree College in Booni.
Inspiring the participants about the importance of plantation in the light of Islamic injunctions and teachings for a better environment, Ghulam Rabbani, Khatib Jamia Masjid Booni of Upper Chitral stated, “Tree plantation is important for the ecological environment and for humans. The promotion of a clean and green environment is as important as proper maintenance of the human body.”
Fateh Ullah Khan, Provincial Minister for Planning, Development and Information applauded the efforts of the Ismaili Council for organising the event stating, “As a nation it is our responsibility to contribute towards the betterment of society which will benefit generations to come. “
Similar plantations were organised in Gupis Yasin, Ishkoman Puniyal, Hunza and Karachi. Students of Prince Aly Boys Academy in Karachi along with the volunteers planted saplings while in Hunza, students of the Aga Khan Higher Secondary School, Hunza pledged to plant trees with their names attached to the trees.
Ismaili CIVIC reflects the community’s ethic of civic engagement and good citizenship, exemplifying Islam’s core values of service, peace, compassion and care for the vulnerable. It is with this duty in mind that the Jamat of Pakistan, in collaboration with the communities in which they live, will serve to improve the overall quality of life of all citizens.