Lahore - The Lahore High Court showed resentment on the performance of Punjab government regarding taking precautionary measures against smog.

Justice Mamoon Rashid Sheikh directed the Punjab government to submit reports regarding adherence to environmental laws and international treaties namely United Nations Climate Change Convention 1992 and Paris Agreement 2015.

The judge was dissatisfied when he was informed by the law officer that the government was taking drastic measures against environmental pollution. The judge remarked that had the govt taken emergency measures Lahore would not have become the most polluted city in the world.

Azhar siddique and sheraz Zaka represented the petitioners who pleaded before the court that the govt’s equipment to measure air quality index is not in accordance with World Health Organisation’s criteria.

They pleaded that Lahore, Gujranwala and Faisalabad were among the most polluted cities and the govt is not taking any action against the industrial units established in residential areas billowing toxic gaseous emissions hence the right of life, right to live with dignity is at stake. The lives of small children and school going children are vulnerable to toxic diseases like asthma etc., they said.

Justice Mamoon orders formation of Environmental Protection Council

The judge directed the govt and Punjab Environmental Protection Agency director general to submit reports regarding steps taken to implement Smog Commission recommendations and action taken against brick kiln industry.

The court further directed to constitute Environmental Protection Council in order to implement the Smog Commission’s recommendations. The judge held the Punjab govt responsible for the situation and told the Punjab Environmental Protection Agency DG that the court may call the Punjab chief minister in personal capacity if the Punjab Environmental Protection Agency did not take precautionary measures.

The court expressed his astonishment when he came to know that Environmental Protection Council has not been constituted, and adjourned the proceedings until December 10.

Meanwhile, Justice Shahid Waheed of Lahore High Court directed the assistant attorney general to constitute body to look into the matter of foreign qualified medical students who have been deprived of equivalence certificate regarding their high school diploma qualification.

The judge inquired from assistant attorney general why foreign qualified student is subjected to hassle and mental anguish by requiring to produce IBCC equivalence certificate of his high school diploma qualification.

Hamza Khan is foreign qualified doctor and wants to practice in Pakistan. However Pakistan and Medical Dental Council refused to allow him to appear in  qualifying exam unless he produce in equivalence certificate of high school diploma from IBCC.