'Swachh' Pak? PM Imran launches nationwide cleanliness drive

WION Web Team Islamabad, Pakistan Oct 08, 2018, 04.32 PM(IST)

File photo of Imran Khan. Photograph:( Reuters )

Story highlights

Karachi, Peshawar and Rawalpindi were ranked the most polluted Pakistani cities by the WHO last year.

PM Imran Khan today launched a nationwide cleanliness drive in Pakistan on the lines PM Modi's "Swachh Bharat" campaign.

Water pollution is present in several parts of the country, the Pakistan PM said while launching the cleanliness programme.

"Brain is the powerhouse which drives change," he said, adding that it will teach kids in the country on the importance of cleanliness.

PM Imran Khan said the government's "Clean Green Pakistan" initiative will be launched at the tehsil level. 

According to the World Health Organisation(WHO) Pakistan was the most polluted country in the world followed by Qatar and Afghanistan last year. India was ranked ninth in the list. Australia was ranked the least polluted along with Brunei and New Zealand. 

The WHO report said the country with a population of 196.17 million had the worst outdoor air quality. It had three cities in the top ten list of "dirtiest cities" in the world, making the country the most polluted, the WHO added.

Karachi, Peshawar and Rawalpindi were ranked the most polluted Pakistani cities by the WHO.

The report said in Karachi there appeared to be a lack of sanitation and clean water and it was "rich" in air pollution due to emissions from cars, rickshaws and buses combined with the burning of garbage had led to large-scale pollution in the port city.

The report further said that air pollution in Peshawar was due to vehicle emissions as well as industrial emissions and in northern Punjab city of Rawalpindi the increase in the number of vehicles and the presence of textile mills had added to the pollution in the last few decades.

The report pointed out that due to the high pollution in Pakistan's cities there has been an increase in respiratory diseases.

Pakistan was ranked 150th out of 189 countries in the Human Development Index(HDI) by the United Nations last year. Between 1990 and 2017, Pakistan’s HDI value increased 39 per cent overall, the UN report had said in 2017.