Just as when everyone thought that peace is restoring between Pakistan and India after Pakistan Prime Minister Imran Khan announced that IAF Wing commander Abhinandan Varthaman will be released as ‘gesture of peace’ today, Pakistan is planning to file a complaint against India at the United Nations, blaming it of “eco-terrorism” over air strikes that destroyed pine trees. The news was confirmed by the government minister on Friday.
India and Pakistan have the biggest rivalry in many years, with the US and other global powers intervening to de-escalate tensions between arch-enemies who have fought not just one but three wars since their independence from British colonial rule in 1947.
Indian Air Force jets on Tuesday bombed a hilly forest area near northern Pakistan’s Balakot town situated 40 km (25 miles) from India’s border in the Himalayan region of Kashmir. New Delhi said it had destroyed militant training camps and eliminated at least 325 soldiers and terrorists.
Pakistan quickly denied that there were any such camps in the regions and the locals said only 1 elderly villager was hurt during the bombing.
Climate Change Minister Malik Amin Aslam said Indian aircraft bombed a “forest reserve” and the government was working on an environmental impact assessment, which will be the complaint at the United Nations.
“What happened over there is environmental terrorism,” Aslam told Reuters, stressing the point that dozens of pine trees had been damaged. “There has been serious environmental damage.”
Two Reuters reporters who visited the bombings spot said that 15 pine trees were damaged. However, the villagers dismissed Indian claims that hundreds of militants were eliminated.
The United Nations states that “destruction of the environment, not justified by military necessity and carried out wantonly, is clearly contrary to existing international law”, as per U.N. General Assembly resolution 47/37.