Karachi Photo Blog

Thursday, November 08, 2018

Pakistanis are finding ways around the Basel Convention rules to pollute their own land

Pakistanis are finding ways around the Basel Convention rules to pollute their own land





A phone conversation with a prominent Pakistani Judge, Justice Zulfiqar Ahmad Khan, has revealed the extent of toxic colonialism happening in Pakistan.  For a few hundred dollars per consignment, Pakistanis are ready to accept hazardous waste generated by developed countries; the waste is then quietly dumped in Pakistan.  From used tires to electronic waste to expired insecticides and other chemicals, Pakistani importers are welcoming hazardous waste of all kinds and from all over.
And Pakistani importers involved in these shady transactions have ‘novel’ ideas of usage of this waste: used tires to be burned as fuel in factory ovens, electronic waste categorized as useful parts, and rejected chemicals called important ingredients, Pakistani importers are fighting with the overburdened customs force for the approval of their arriving shipments.  Meanwhile, Pakistan’s 18th amendment to its constitution is working in the favor of the waste importers.  With greater autonomy over its affairs on the passage of that amendment, each province is responsible for the protection of its own environment.  Importers are finding it easy to obtain NOCs (No-objection certificates) from the Environmental Protection Agencies of depressed areas—Balochistan EPA being most eager to issue such NOCs.
 

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