11/21/2019

Urgent Action: Hazardous Air Puts Health of Millions at Risk (Pakistan: UA 153.19)


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. On 13 November, the Air Quality Index in Lahore, the capital of Punjab, reached 556 – far exceeding the threshold for ‘hazardous’ levels, which begins at 300. 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 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.

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  1. Write a letter in your own words or using the sample below as a guide to one or both government officials listed. You can also email, fax, call or Tweet them.
  2. Click here to let us know the actions you took on Urgent Action 153.19. It’s important to report because we share the total number with the officials we are trying to persuade and the people we are trying to help.
Minister (State) of Climate Change Zartaj Gul Wazir
4th floor, Local Government Complex
G-5/2, Islamabad, PAKISTAN
+92 51 9245710
Fax: +92 51 9245841
Email: [email protected]
Ambassador Asad Majeed Khan
Embassy of The Islamic Republic of Pakistan
3517 International Ct NW, Washington DC 20008
Phone: 202 243 6500 I Fax: 202 686 1534
Email: [email protected]
Twitter: @PakEmbassyDC
Facebook: @PakistanEmbassyDC
Contact Form: https://bit.ly/2QiCMnI
Salutation: Dear Ambassador

Dear Minister Zartaj Gul Wazir,

I am extremely concerned about the risks that the hazardous air poses for the health and lives of the people in Lahore.

The government’s failure to adequately protect people from exposure to this air puts their human rights at risk, including their rights to health and life.

A 2018 World Health Organization report has shown that children are especially vulnerable to the health impacts of hazardous air, because of their developing lungs which require twice as much oxygen, and as a result are consistently falling sick because of the air they breathe. Life expectancy is already thought to be reduced by 5 years for the people living in Lahore as a result of the poor air quality.

Given the potentially devastating impacts of poor air quality on people’s lives, health and human rights, I urge you to ensure that the people of Lahore have access to correct information about the severity of the smog and implement the recommendations of the court-appointed Smog Commission of Punjab, including the Punjab Clean Air Action Plan.

Yours sincerely,

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