Smog : Pakistan’s Punjab Chief Minister writes letter to Indian counterpart

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By Muhammad Luqman
In a rare diplomatic move , Chief Minister of Pakistan’s Punjab Shehbaz Sharif has reached out to his Indian counterpart and invited him to enter into a regional cooperation agreement to tackle the issue of smog and environmental pollution, gripping the two neighbours every winter.
In a letter dated November 19, Shehbaz Sharif said the people of both Pakistani and Indian Punjabs have been facing the problem of smog during the months of October and November.
“It goes without saying that the smog has an adverse impact on health, especially on the old and the children; on agriculture in the form of delayed sowing of wheat and damage to potato and other crops and causes traffic accidents,” said Shehbaz Sharif in the letter.
The chief minister went on to explain some of the causes of smog, including paddy stubble burning. He added the problem now affects Lahore, New Delhi and regions beyond the two cities.
“You will agree with me that it is essentially scientific and economic and cannot be tackled through other means.”
Shehbaz said in the letter that it is in the interest of people from both Punjabs that a collective effort be made towards identifying technologies and business methods that may eliminate the need to burn rice-stubble and help control smog formation.
Pakistan has always accused the burning of paddy crop stubbles in Indian Punjab as source of smog in Lahore and other cities. The Pakistan Punjab has prohibited the burning of stubbles and solid waste.

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