ISLAMABAD - The Senate Functional Committee on Human Rights on Thursday expressed concern on increase in smog and air pollution at alarming level and its effects on human beings in the country. The meeting was held with Senator Mustafa Nawaz Khokhar in the Chair and the members of the Committee including Senators Prof. Dr. Mehr Taj Roghani, Muhammad Ali Khan Saif, Dr. Jehanzeb Jamaldini, Qurat ul Ain Marri, Muhammad Tahir Bizinjo, Muhammad Usman Khan Kakar, Kesho Bai and mover Rana Maqbool Ahmed also attended the meeting.

The Chairman of the Committee directed the Ministry of Climate Change to take steps on emergency basis to control air pollution and smog issues in the country and proposed that concrete steps should be taken for tree plantation, forest protection and awareness regarding air pollution and its effects.

The Committee also showed concerns on the harassment issues of students in Punjab University by the campus security officer and directed the Punjab University Administration to peacefully resolve issues through dialogue in consultation with student representatives. The Chairman of the Committee said that according to media reports, sense of insecurity is prevailing among students and teachers in the University. The Committee praised the Vice Chancellor Punjab University for increasing quota for the students of Balochistan province.

 However, the Committee said that quota should be further increased to facilitate more students of Balochistan.

The Committee also discussed the bill titled “The Maintenance and Welfare of Old Parents and Senior Citizen Bill, 2019”, introduced in the House by Senator Rana Maqbool Ahmed.

Earlier, Secretary Ministry of Climate Change briefed the Committee regarding increase in smog at an alarming level and shared steps taken to control the air pollution in the country.