Feb 27, 2017

Taliban leader urges Afghans to plant more trees

The leader of the Taliban in Afghanistan, Hibatullah Akhundzada, has urged Afghans to plant more trees.

In a statement, he called on civilians and fighters to "plant one or several fruit or non-fruit trees for the beautification of Earth and the benefit of almighty Allah's creations".

"Tree plantation plays an important role in environmental protection, economic development and beautification of earth," the Taliban leader said, in a report carried by the Afghan Taliban Voice of Jihad website.

Afghanistan has a severe problem of deforestation. Trees are cut down for heating and illegal timber sales.

Statements from the Taliban on environmental issues are rare.

Akhundzada, who became leader of the Taliban last May, has a stronger reputation as a religious leader than a military chief.

Sunday's "special message", carried on official Taliban outlets, was in stark contrast to the more familiar fiery rhetoric against the Afghan government and its Nato coalition backers.

(BBC News)