LAHORE - Punjab Environment Secretary Saif Anjum has said the province neither has any equipment to measure air pollution nor record of factories emitting pollutants.

He said this at the maiden meeting of a commission on smog set up by Lahore High Court Chief Justice Syed Mansoor Ali Shah.

The commission, which met at a law office on Kashmir Road with its chief Dr Pervez Hassan in the chair, decided to visit on January 13 the laboratory established to overcome environmental pollution.  The chief justice ordered the commission to submit report by Jan 18 on implementation of environmental laws to overcome smog and pollution.

Other members of the commission are Health Secretary Najam Shah, Additional Advocate General Anwar Hussain, Barrister Sarah Bilal and lawyer Sheraz Zaka.

Barrister Walid Iqbal, grandson of Dr Allama Muhammad Iqbal, and others had approached the court against the government for its failure to cope with smog and other environmental issues. Sheraz Zaka, the counsel for Walid Iqbal, had requested the court to ask the authorities about the measures adopted to protect environment. The government’s apathy drew court’s ire as the case has been pending with the court for the last one year.

A couple of months ago, the government submitted hastily drafted Policy on Controlling Smog 2017 to the court.

Flanked by other officials, the environment minister had held a press conference to list anti-pollution measures and a health minister too was seen on the road distributing masks to citizens. Such cosmetic campaigns however failed to win the court that formed the commission to look into the matter.

Arguments sought in

case against minister

A sessions court sought arguments from both sides on a petition for registration of a treason case against Railways Federal Minister for Khwaja Saad Rafiq for his statement about chain of command of the army.

Amna Malik of Arman Welfare Foundation had moved the petition through her counsel Azhar Siddique, submitting that Khwaja in a recent interview targeted national institutions and committed treason by doing so. She also made ousted PM Nawaz Sahrif, Shehbaz Sharif, Khwaja Asif, Ahsan Iqbal and Rana Sana Ullah as the parties in her petition.