Asia Pacific

Pakistan to lodge 'eco-terrorism' complaint against India over damage to trees from airstrikes


Pakistan plans to lodge a complaint of “eco-terrorism” against India after airstrikes in Pakistani territory damaged dozens of trees, its climate change minister said on Friday.

“Eco-terrorism is exactly what happened,” Malik Amin Aslam said, adding that environmental assessments were underway.

“We will explore all appropriate international bodies including U.N. to raise the issue and lodge the protest,” he said, adding that it was “not a joke.”

Aslam spoke after India claimed to have killed “a very large number” of militants in an airstrike carried out near Balakot in northwestern Pakistan on Tuesday.

Pakistan rejected the claim as “self-serving, reckless and fictitious.”

Residents of the area reported hearing explosions in the night, but said only one person was injured and no infrastructure had been destroyed.

An AFP reporter visited the site where residents and the military said the strike hit, and saw a crater, two trees snapped in half and three mud houses, one of which had a collapsed wall.

Aslam said the only damage was done to the Billion Tree Tsunami, a massive reforestation project launched in 2014.

He said “dozens” of trees had been killed, including mature ones and newly regenerated ones.