On Tuesday, the smog levels in Lahore became the cause for a petition from students in the Lahore High Court (LHC).

A school-going student and her classfellows sought action from courts to address the condition of air in Lahore and its surrounding areas. Being represented by Advocate Rafay Alam, the petition said that whereas international health experts had said the air pollution indices should not cross 50, normal working days were being expected out of Lahore's populace even when indicators passed 400.

The Environment Protection Department categorized an air quality index (AQI) score of 182 as "safe to breath", which contradicts international public health experts.

Earlier last week, Minister for Climate Change Zartaj Gul shared a video on social media that claimed anti-state elements were exaggerating the extent of the smog crisis in Lahore, and accused Indian farming practices of having caused the environmental crisis in the first place. However, she insisted that even the current levels of smog were safe for the general public.

Environmental activists and legal experts, including Advocate Alam himself, slammed the minister for her comments, accusing her of deliberately misleading the public from what was in fact a "health emergency".

The LHC has directed the Punjab government to submit its reply in the next hearing.

In neighboring India, the Indian Supreme Court has demanded the city and federal governments in Delhi to curb field-burning in the states of Punjab and Haryana, and is attempting to rigorously enforce a driving ban on specifically numbered plates in the city. The smog crisis in Delhi has led to the government declaring a "health emergency", and schools and government offices have been shut down until conditions improve. 

Children and the elderly are most susceptible to poor air quality conditions in Lahore.