Pakistan charges Indian pilots with eco-terrorism as bombs felled 19 trees

Pakistan on Friday lodged a First Information Report (FIR) against “unidentified pilots” of the Indian Air Force (IAF) for bombing and destroying 19 trees in the Balakot area, days after New Delhi launched a pre-emptive strike against an alleged terrorist training camp in the country.

The First Information Report was filed by the forestry department on Friday against pilots of the Indian Air Force (IAF) for bombing and destroying trees in the Balakot area.

The FIR, registered against “unidentified IAF pilots”, also details the damage suffered by 19 trees after the Indian fighter jets “hastily dropped their payload”, it says.

On March 26, India said IAF jets, in the face of imminent danger, launched a pre-emptive strike on Balakot in Pakistan’s Khyber Pakhtunkhwa province.

An Express News report said Pakistan also plans to lodge a complaint against India at the United Nations, accusing New Delhi of “eco-terrorism”.

India said its warplanes bombed Jabba Top, a hilly forest area near the northern town of Balakot, about 40km from Pakistan-administered Kashmir.

Pakistan’s Climate Change Minister Malik Amin Aslam had said Indian jets bombed a “forest reserve” and the government was undertaking an environmental impact assessment, which will be the basis of a complaint at the United Nations and other forums, the report said.

“What happened over there is environmental terrorism,” Aslam said, adding that dozens of pine trees had been felled, adding “There has been serious environmental damage.”