Amnesty International issued 'urgent action' for Pakistan: Report
ISLAMABAD - Amnesty International on Friday issued an “Urgent Action” for the residents of Lahore to mobilize its supporters and campaign on behalf of the entire population due to the hazardous smog engulfing the city.
The “Urgent Action” raises concerns about how the poor air quality poses a risk to the health of every person in Lahore, a city of more than 10 million people.
“The air in Punjab, Pakistan’s most populous province, is so toxic that people’s health and lives are in grave danger. Schools have been forced to shut down, respiratory illnesses are on the rise and people are having trouble breathing,” Amnesty International said.
[image: Image result for smog in lahore]
On November 13, the Air Quality Index (AQI) in Lahore, reached 556 – far exceeding the threshold for ‘hazardous’ levels, which begins at 300. A day earlier, the AQI reached 598 at 12pm on November 21. Since the beginning of the month, at least seven days have seen air quality index reach hazardous levels.
“The Government of Pakistan is assessing the air quality using measures, not in line with international standards and so, people are not adequately warned or equipped as to how to protect themselves from the smog ,” the organisation noted.
Amnesty further urged the government of Pakistan must act on its human rights obligations and take urgent action to protect people from the adverse consequences of poor air quality.
On the other hand, the Punjab education department on Thursday decided to keep all public and private schools in Lahore, Gujranwala and Faisalabad closed on November 22 due to poor air quality.