09:10 GMT +308 December 2019
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    Pakistan's Prime Minister Imran Khan speaks during a joint news conference with Turkey's President Recep Tayyip Erdogan, in Ankara, Turkey, Friday, Jan. 4, 2019

    Lahore Air Pollution A ‘Silent Murderer’- Pakistan's Prime Minister Imran Khan

    © AP Photo / Burhan Ozbilici
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    New Delhi (Sputnik): Pakistan’s “city of gardens” Lahore is struggling to control its air pollution, with the government directing schools across the city to remain shut due to “hazardous” air quality.

    While launching the Clean Green Pakistan Index on Monday, Prime Minister Imran Khan said Lahore’s air pollution is a “silent murderer”.

    The Pakistan Tehreek-e-Insaf (PTI) chief, who was in Islamabad, said his government remains fully focused on its commitment to improve the deteriorating environmental condition across the country, adding that the pollution level in Lahore has “reached to the level of India’s capital city Delhi.”

    "The air in Lahore is not breathable and the condition of the city is hazardous for both the old and young," the actor-turned-politician said.

    International human rights organisation Amnesty International has urged global support for Lahore, as the region is blanketed by thick smog posing a health risk to its residents.

    The prime minister pinned the blame on deforestation.

    “We have been cutting our trees and in the last 10 years over 70 percent of Lahore’s city has been deforested,” Khan said.

    Talking further about environmental degradation in the country, the Pakistan prime minister said we ruined our rivers by “disposing of our sewage in it.”

    Khan appealed to the youth to become a part of the campaign to make Pakistan clean and green, as he said, it’s not just the government’s job to ensure a better environment.

    Pakistan has also blamed India for the deteriorating air quality in Lahore.

    Pakistan’s Naseem-Ur-Rahman Shah, head of the provincial Environment Protection Department in Punjab province, said: "The fast blowing winds brought thick smog from India to Lahore and the international community should pressure India to take measures for controlling air pollution as it also affects us.”

    Delhi has also suffered from poor air quality. Schools across city were closed for over a week recently as the air quality index (AQI) was rated as 'Severe', forcing a Public Health Emergency to be declared.

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