Monday, June 4, 2012

The growing Pakistani carbon footprint threatening quality of life

Environmental pollution is a rapidly growing threat in Pakistan which is damaging the climate and human and wildlife health. Highly inefficient energy use, the accelerated growth of vehicle population, increasing industrial activity without adequate air emission treatment or control, open burning of solid waste, including plastic, use of ozone depleting substances (ODSs), pressure horns, use of generators in industries and CNG stations, the noise from vehicles and auto rickshaws and loud speakers are some of the major causes of the deterioration of the ambient air quality as well as the overall climate. According to the official data available at the District Environment Department, rapidly growing energy demand, fuel substitution such as coal and oil were the key factors contributing to air pollution. The state of air quality has been assessed by examining the emission levels of air pollutants and ambient air quality. The average increase in sulphur dioxide across major emitting sectors like industry, transport and power has increased 23-fold over the past 25 years. Similarly, nitrogen oxides increased 25 times in the power sector and carbon dioxide increased an average of 4 times. However, Pakistan’s per capita greenhouse gas (GHG) emissions are far below the global average. Ambient air quality data shows that carbon monoxide levels in Karachi and Lahore considerably exceed WHO’s recommended levels while particulate matter content cross safety levels in the major industrial cities in the Punjab province. According to the District Environment Department, thousands of two stroke auto rickshaws are continuously damaging the climate by emitting noise and contaminated smoke. The city government, acting on the recommendations given by the Environment Protection Agency, the Transport Department and other government and private agencies, had banned the use of two stroke auto rickshaw and motorcycle rickshaw in December 2005 due to their damaging effect on the environment. However, the ban was revoked after the rickshaw drivers went on strike against the move. Another major issue causing environmental pollution is the improper dumping of waste. The dumping sites at various city locations were allocated to dump 7800 tonnes of solid waste. However, the people living around the dumping site at Kahna complained of severe health issues. The management of private housing colonies and factories throw their waste in various drains and the River Ravi causing water pollution. Lahore also has large industrial units that are operating without proper planning. Another alarming threat to the environment is the hospital waste which is capable of spreading deadly diseases. The city government started a campaign to ensure the proper disposal of hospital waste through incinerators and so far, 135 hospital and clinics have been fined.

Pakistan: Saudi military officer should be thrown in jail:

Source: lets build Pakistan
We pay tribute to the honourable ASF officers who sought to implement standard security procedures notwithstanding one’s nationality or higher status. We urge the government of Pakistan to award a commendation certificate and medal to the ASF officers who upheld the rule of law and were in pursuit of their duty abused and attacked by the Saudi official. We also urge Pakistan’s Chief Justice to take suo moto notice of this incident and place the said Saudi official’s name in the Exit Control List until an independent inquiry is conducted and due punishment awarded to him.
Names of honourbale Pakistanis: Idris Ahmed (ASF) Abdul Rehman (ASF) Abid Ali (ASF) Zafar Iqbal Mohammad Saleem Names of rude and violent Saudis and those who supported their violence: Group Captain Saeed Al-Shehri (Saudi Air Force) Saudi Arabia’s Ambassador in Pakistan Abdul Aziz Ibrahim al-Ghadeer Director General ASF Minister Defence Ahmed Mukhtar Minister Interior Rehman Malik Secretary Defense Nargis Sethi Muhammad Saleh Zaafir (Jang Group)
According to news reports, a Saudi military official (name: Saeed Al-Shehri) shoved a Pakistani airport security official at the Islamabad and they in turn gave him a reasonable amount of thrashing. After getting slapped, ASF (Airport Security Force) officials handled the Saudi Army Officer in Pakistani style – and now the Saudi dude is in a local hospital ASF personnel at Benazir Bhutto International Airport (Islamabad) were assaulted and abused by a Saudi military officer who refused to be searched and refused to follow the standard security procedures of the ASF. In return, the said Saudi national was allegedly thrashed by the ASF officers. The scuffle took place when airport security officials stopped Al-Shehri for routine security check. Following the incident the Saudi ambassador to Pakistan reached the airport. ASF sources say, the man was not an official of the Saudi embassy, adding he was here for a military course. His seat was also not confirmed, the sources added that a high-level inquiry has been launched into the incident. On the other hand, sources in the Saudi Airline claimed that the military man is a member of the Saudi embassy and he was to leave for Riyadh via flight SV 732. Airport sources told that Saeed Alshehri bound for Riyadh via Flight 732 was asked for security clearance by the Airport Security Force (ASF) but the Saudi military officer used offensive language against Pakistani security official and abused him. Saudi military official also attacked and injured Pakistani staff physically and as a result a serious clash was reported between them. Saudi Military official claimed he received at least nine injuries as a violent clash between security officials of two brotherly Muslim countries. Secretary Defense Nargis Sethi also took the notice and ordered the DG ASF to submit report within 24 hours. Minister Defence Ahmed Mukhtar and Minister Interior Rehman Malik also expressed concern on the incident. Saudi Arabia’s Ambassador in Pakistan Abdul Aziz Ibrahim al-Ghadeer visited the injured at the hospital. FIR of the incident has also been registered at the Airport Police Station, said police sources. The injured Saudi man had been shifted to Benazir Hospital of Rawalpindi for treatment. News report: A Saudi military officer assaulted Airport Security Force (ASF) personnel at Islamabad Airport when he argued with an official over the stopping of his son during the security check-in of passengers for a Saudi Arabian Airline flight on Thursday. In turn, ASF personnel thrashed the Saudi military office who is reportedly to have been mildly injured. Pressurized by their Saudi masters, Interior Minister Rehman Malik and Defence Secretary Nargis Sethi sought reports about the incident from the Federal Investigation Agency (FIA) and Civil Aviation Authority (CAA). According to security sources, Group Captain Al Ashri Shukri Saeed of Saudi Air Force, who was attending a professional course at the National Defence University, reached the airport along with his son and a nephew at around 5pm for the 6.15pm flight SV-723 to Riyadh. His nephew had cleared the security check, while his son bypassed the walk-though gate thus breaking the standard security procedures. When the boy was spotted heading towards the lounge, a security official called him to return and follow the security check-in procedure. Mr Saeed, used to the servant like attitude of Pakistan army and government, was annoyed when he saw his son being called back by the security staff for regular security screening. He started abusing the security officer and physically assaulted and injured them. Argument between security official Idris Ahmed and Mr Seed, the sources said, turned into a brawl. When ASF’s Abdul Rehman saw the man (Mr Saeed) quarrelling with his colleague and beating him, he came to help his colleague and got involved in the fight. ASF officer Abid Ali and Inspector Zafar Iqbal and Mohammad Saleem rushed to the place and rescued his colleague and tried to restrain the extremely violent Saudi passenger, who suffered minor injuries in this entire incident. Senior officials of the ASF and airport management immediately intervened and settled the matter, at least for the time being. Police took Mr Saeed to the Benazir Bhutto Hospital. “Multiple X-rays of the victim were taken and a medico-legal report was prepared, although the radiologist’s final report is awaited,” the hospital’s Medical Superintendent Dr Asif Qadir said. Soon after Mr Saeed had been taken to the BBH, senior officials of the Saudi embassy arrived there. “Doctors tried to clean an injury he had suffered on his left eyebrow, but a Saudi diplomat stopped them and said he would be taken to Islamabad for treatment,” Dr Qadir said. He was taken to the Pakistan Institute of Medical Sciences in the federal capital and admitted to a VVIP room.

Obama remains more popular than Romney

President Barack Obama remains more popular than Mitt Romney, according to a CNN/ORC International survey released Monday. Romney's favorable rating among Americans has jumped from 34% in February to 48% now. Forty-two percent say they see Romney in a negative light. Romney still trails the president, however, who currently has a 56% favorable rating, with 42% saying they have an unfavorable opinion of Obama, the CNN/ORC poll shows. The president's favorable and unfavorable ratings are unchanged from CNN polls in March and April. "The biggest gap between Obama and Romney's favorable ratings is among younger Americans. More than two-thirds of those under 30 have a favorable view of Obama, compared to only four-in-ten who feel that way about Romney. Romney is much stronger among senior citizens, but the gap is not nearly as big," says CNN Polling Director Keating Holland. "Romney may have a small advantage among independent voters, but that is offset by his lower favorable rating among Republicans than Obama has among Democrats." Three other findings of note: Vice President Joe Biden has lower ratings than Obama. Only 41% of Americans have a favorable view him, with 44% having a negative opinion. And 65% say they have a favorable rating of first lady Michelle Obama, with 27% saying they see her in a negative light. The survey found that two-thirds of the public has a favorable opinion of Secretary of State Hillary Clinton. The CNN poll was conducted by ORC International between May 29 and May 31, with 1,009 adults nationwide, including 895 registered voters, questioned by telephone. The survey's overall sampling error is plus or minus three percentage points, with a sampling error of plus or minus 3.5 percentage points for registered voters.