File photo of an ancient juniper forest in Ziarat: Quetta Voice

A case was registered against an accused for chopping off an ancient juniper tree in Balochistan’s famous tourist point, Ziarat. Challan was lodged against an accused Khushahal Khan as per forest act for cutting of a tree in Ziarat city to remove it for construction of a farmhouse, a well-placed official of the Balochistan forest department told the daily Quetta Voice.

The under-construction farm-house was reported to be of former chief minister Balochistan, Allauddin Marri, Though it was not officially confirmed and Mr. Marri was not nominated in the challan. However, Mr. Marri was widely criticized on social media for cutting of a tree.

Work on the construction of the farm-house was stopped after the forest department reported cutting of the tree. The forest department has also sent the challan to the magistrate for the arrest of the accused involved in the chopping off the tree.

The Balochistan Forest Department (BDF) is fully committed to conserving natural forest i.e Juniper Forest, Chilghoza Forest, Mangrove, Abdul Jabbar, the Chief Forest Conservator Norther said in a statement on Tuesday night. The present government especially, the judiciary is playing a pivotal role in conservation of the forest and wildlife, he said.

“None would be spared for chopping any tree as per the forest act”, Mr. Jabbar warned.

Ziarat houses the world’s second-largest juniper forest. The ancient juniper trees are thousands of years old, environmentalists say.

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Quetta Voice is an English Daily covering all unfolding political, economic and social issues relating to Balochistan, Pakistan's largest province in terms of area. QV's main focus is on stories related to education, promotion of quality education and publishing reports about out of school children in the province. QV has also a vigilant eye on health, climate change and other key sectors.