Felling of an ancient tree

Tuesday, Jun 25, 2024

The residents of Peshawar, especially those who love the city’s heritage, were much saddened to learn that an ancient tree in the heart of the city was felled. The 500-year-old tree was felled around the environment day marked on June 5. This particular tree was situated in the Shah Wali Kataal neighbourhood, at the back of the historic Qissa Khawani Bazaar and was said to be about 500 (five hundred) years old. The cutting of this rare tree, a symbol of both environmental preservation as well as the heritage of the old city, was undertaken because a shop owned by a certain government department had to be expanded. Thus, for a paltry financial benefit, not only was the cultural heritage of the city destroyed but an important bulwark against rapid environmental degradation was also eliminated.

As Peshawar is one of the ancient cities of the region, the city still has many ancient trees which are a tangible heritage of the city which needs to be protected. These mighty old trees, including a banyan tree near Rampura Gate, need to be preserved and protected. Both the civil society of Peshawar as well as the government departments responsible for protecting its heritage and environment, have to be very vigilant about unauthorized felling.

Akbar Jan Marwat