I slamabad: International Union for Conservation of Nature (IUCN) has organized a dialogue on ‘highlighting environment on the election agenda in Pakistan,’ which was streamed live on Saach.TV.

To discuss on the matter, a diverse panel of politicians, environmental experts and journalists was present.

Starting the proceedings, Ahmed Saeed, Project Manager of National Impact Assessment Program (NIAP) of IUCN said that Pakistan is lagging behind technologically to tackle the issue of conservation of nature and resources.

He said, “We have not yet launched the Euro-II fuel while other countries including India are moving to Euro-IV – V .”

“Pakistan is the most urbanized country in South Asia with 35% of urban area, making or challenges more daunting,” he added.

A discussion between the panelists, facilitated by veteran journalist Syed Talat Hussain, brought up several key issues in front of the audience.

Syed Zafar Ali Shah of Pakistan Muslim League – Nawaz presented the version of his party and said that there hasn’t been enough amount of legislation on environmental issues.

He said, “Rawal Dam in Islamabad has a filtration machinery which has been working for many years and no one knows the efficiency of this machinery.”

Malik Amin Aslam of Pakistan Tehreek-i-Insaf (PTI) presented the several key issues outlined in the environmental policy of PTI.

He said that, if in power, his party will reverse the deforestation and increase the forest levels from 3% to 6%.

Aslam stated that introduction of eco budget, inclusion of environmental right to every human being in the constitution, clean drinking water, eco system evaluation, mandatory environment study from primary to inter and mass awareness of environment are the key points of PTI’s manifesto.

Waqas Khan of Jamat-e-Islami (JI) said that his party has placed Madina as the role model state in its manifesto and will replicate it when it comes to power.

He said that removal of trees will be prohibited and animal rights will be ensured by JI as already outlined in Islam.

He also presented the works done by Al-Khidmat foundation of JI which is working on water treatment plants across the country.

He vowed to bring the masses into the legislation and reduce the elite element in the legislation process.

Javed Iqbal, Anchor Person Capital TV said that the media is currently entangled in the web of ratings which is neglecting serious issues like environment.

He said that there was  a lot of debate among the students and academia 15 years ago over environment but that debate has vanished now.

Faisal Rehman, Anchor Person PTV World, stated that we do not need to take massive revolutionary steps to preserve nature, small tweaks on individual scale can also do the business.

He said that there is a strong need for media awareness campaign on the issue.

He also voiced his fear that Pakistan has lost the element of four weathers due to environmental depletion.

“We have lost our spring somewhere,” he said.

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