Air pollution

Air pollution in Pakistan and across South Asia is a grave concern, significantly reducing life expectancy and adversely impact­ing the overall quality of life. These distressing revelations are brought to light in the University of Chica­go’s annual Air Quality Life In­dex (AQLI) report. This document serves as a resounding wake-up call, not only to policymakers with­in Pakistan but also to the broader South Asian region.

The report underscores that South Asia is now the global epi­centre of pollution, emphasising that pollution is not merely an environmental issue; it is a pro­found public health crisis. Lahore, often dubbed Pakistan’s most pol­luted city, faces an alarming real­ity. According to weather reports, residents of Punjab’s capital and those living in Sheikhupura, Ka­sur, and Peshawar are witnessing a staggering reduction in their life expectancy by approximate­ly 7 years due to the dire state of air quality.

This stark reality places South Asia at the forefront of a health crisis caused by polluted air. The AQLI study makes a crucial ob­servation, highlighting that with political will and the allocation of necessary resources, positive change is indeed possible.

SHAMSHA NADIL

KARACHI

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