The Koh-e-Sulaiman (Takht-e-Sulaiman) mountain range, at an elevation of 3,487 metres (11,440 feet), is one of the country’s highest national parks, with a unique ecology that will be maintained and developed as the country’s first transboundary national park.
In an exclusive interview with APP, Provincial Minister Khyber-Pakhtunkhwa Faisal Amin Khan Gandapur said the Koh-e-Sulaiman range, which runs between K-P and Balochistan, was home to endangered species such as the Sulaiman markhor, urial, striped hyena, and the world’s largest pure stand forest of chilghoza (pine nut).
According to Prime Minister Imran Khan’s vision, “this unique environment should be safeguarded and would be a magnificent national park situated at the junction of two provinces.”
Pakistan, he claimed, has 12 ecological zones and some of the world’s most unique and rare mammals, reptiles, vegetation, and bird species.
“A large-scale olive tree agriculture would be begun in the mountain range to benefit the vast forest cover because it had a favourable habitat for the less water-intensive and lucrative fruit species,” he added.
According to Gandapur, the project was carried out in partnership with the Ministry of Climate Change, the Forest Department K-P, and the Forest Department Balochistan province under the protected areas initiative (PAI).
Its growth, he said, would be a huge boost for this zone, which spans K-P and Balochistan’s Zhob region.
According to the World Wildlife Fund for Nature (WWF-Pakistan), the world’s best pure stand forest of chilghoza was also in this range, with the possibility for enormous plantation to increase the number of chilghoza trees in this forest.
According to local legend, the grave of all Pashtun tribes’ ancestral father “Abdur Rashid” also known as “Qais Baba” was on the top of Takht-e-Sulaiman (Throne of Solomon) altitude 3,487m, the highest point of the Sulaiman Range (erstwhile Frontier Region Dera Ismail Khan) locally known as Qissay Ghar or “Qais’s Mountain”