Peshawar Ecofirendly Roadmap to Expats’ Properties Bill; Infocus Weekly Briefs

by M. Wasim

2 April 2023

Climate Investment Roadmap to make Peshawar Ecofirendly

To address the effects of climate change surrounding the city of Peshawar the Asian Development Bank (ADB) has carried out a study that leads to the preparation of a “Climate Investment Roadmap”. The Peshawar roadmap has a strategic focus on Green House Gas (GHG) reduction and resilience featuring measures that would improve the quality of residents’ life. The total carbon emissions of the Peshawar district till 2030 are expected to be around 11.76 million tons. Of these emissions, the energy sector contributes zero emissions, whereas the transport sector is on the top of all other sectors with 6.98m tons (59.3% of overall emissions) of GHG emissions in Peshawar. Agriculture, Livestock and waste management’ emissions come thereafter.


 The roadmap has been developed under the technical assistance programme of ADB, aimed at supporting Asian cities in their efforts to ensure an eco-friendly atmosphere. It comprises three core components including multiyear programmes that can be financed with a combination of city, public sector and private climate-focused financing; development of a City Climate Dashboard (CCD) and City Climate Committee (CCC). The actions include in the roadmap are the reduction of GHG emissions in the transport sector by adopting public transport, improvements of roads, replacement of 30% vehicles with electric vehicles (EVs), adopting climate friendly agriculture practices along with urban forestation, greenways prioritising worst urban flooding and transport disruption as well as water and watershed management.

Overseas Pakistanis’ Properties Protection Bill

A document issued by the ministry Ministry for Overseas Pakistanis and Human Resource Development reveals that approximately 9 million Pakistanis are working and residing in different countries around the globe. It was highlighted that, although, they are helping in the socio-economic uplift of the country but there is no direct mechanism for offering solutions to protect of their properties. Therefore the ministry has undertaken an initiative to protect the properties of Overseas Pakistanis by proposing a new bill that will address the woes of expatriates with regards to their properties in Pakistan.

Roshan Apna Ghar benefits both Overseas Pakistanis & Local Real Estate

Previously, a proposal regarding the establishment of Special Courts for Overseas Pakistanis through an Ordinance or Act of Parliament was tabled before the Cabinet Division. The Cabinet Division approved the proposal however, the ordinance was not been promulgated. The ministry has again submitted the proposal summary to Prime Minister through Law & Justice Division. Reportedly, the PM  office held a meeting with the Ministry of Overseas Pakistanis and HRD and sought recommendations from various concerned departments. When these departments submit their reviews, the bill will again be routed for processing of the ordinance.

Keamari Tragedy Report

The Sindh health department had constituted a Medical Board in February for the exhumation of the bodies of 18 people who died in January this year, allegedly from inhaling toxic emissions from Keamari`s Ali Muhammad Goth. The Medical Board has submitted its report this week. According to report traces of plastic and rubber additives have been detected in the remains of some victims. The reports was prepared by the University of Karachi`s Industrial and Analytical Centre.  The report states “No traces of any other toxic chemicals, toxic gases, heavy metals, sedatives, narcotics, psychotic substances, or poisonous substances were found.”

Air Pollution, Toxic Emissions by Illegal Factories are unchecked in Karachi

However an investigator opined  “While this evidence does not conclusively suggest the cause or causes of death, it does definitely indicate that the victims were living in a highly polluted environment, posing a serious threat to their health”. The investigator also said there were serious lapses in the Keamari case investigation from day one. For instance no serious effort was made to collect evidence/traces of environmental pollution, which was initially highlighted as the cause of multiple deaths. Besides, the Sindh Environmental Protection Agency (Sepa) collected air quality samples after the factories, blamed for toxic emissions, were sealed. Another source pointed out that one of the nearby factories produced iron ore that caused harmful gases.

The Pak-US Green Alliance

During a meeting with senior journalists this week, the US Ambassador Donald Bloom referred The Green Alliance between America and Pakistan “a prime example of a strong and enduring partnership aimed at improving the lives of” both nations. Last week, the United States and Pakistan concluded their meetings of the Climate and Environment Working Group in Islamabad.  Officials and experts engaged on climate and environment issues, including climate change, energy transition, water management, climate-smart agriculture, air quality, biodiversity, and waste management including plastics recycling. The two governments recommitted to tackling the climate crisis through cooperation on climate change mitigation and adaptation, and resolved to continue deepening their bilateral partnership through the U.S.-Pakistan “Green Alliance” framework. 

Pak US Green Alliance

The “Green Alliance” will help Pakistan and the United States jointly face the climate, environmental, and economic needs of the present and future, especially through partnership on agriculture, water, and clean energy.  By working together to enhance climate change adaptation and mitigation efforts, foster green economic growth, and promote research and innovation, the alliance has the potential to become a model of international cooperation in the fight against climate change, reaffirming the idea of “one world, one goal” in addressing the most pressing environmental challenges of our time.

Illegal Societies in Islamabad

In a meeting of the Standing Committee on Climate Change which was chaired by Member of National Assembly (MNA) Nuzhat Pathan, it was pointed out that in order to protect the environment, the Ministry of Climate Change should adopt a more crystal clear criteria for giving approval to these housing societies. The chairman of Capital Development Authority (CDA)  briefed committee members about illegal societies, water sewerage and outsourcing of waste management. The Committee on climate change took up various issues pertaining to the federal capital expressed dismay over illegal housing societies causing damage to the environment of Islamabad.


In December last year, the Court of Senior Special Magistrate of CDA issued arrest warrants for several housing society operators and individuals for environmental degradation in sector H-17. The court directed the police to arrest violators of environment laws and present them in the court of the Special Magistrate. Similarly in January, a major housing society, in violation of its approved layout plan, had been making high-rise commercial buildings on the right-of-way of Soan River. The committee, particularly took notice of illegal housing societies, that had violated environmental laws. In the past, CDA had also been accused of working with housing societies especially illegal ones and watching their interests at the cost of environmental degradation. The committee also directed the Ministry of Climate Change to get rid of these mulberry trees as they were causing serious respiratory ailments and pollen allergy.

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