Sep 22 - 28, 2008

The rising air pollution which is a global phenomenon posing not only a serious threat to health in general but in fact is threat to the human existing on earth if effective and collective measures were not taken to address the issue at the earliest.

Pakistan being a developing economy has to comprise on many issues including permission to ply smoke emitting vehicles on roads due to financial constraints in acquiring metro buses or mass transit system for the commuters especially for the people living in industrial cities like Karachi and Lahore . This compromise at the cost health of the citizens is now directly responsible for a number of diseases including Asthma, T.B, chest and throat infections and to some extent for cancerous diseases.

Though the government departments responsible for control pollution could not produce any visible result in controlling the pollution, however nature which is always kind to man came to his rescue in the form of natural gas which is the friendliest fuel for human society. Being the cost effective, a large number of private and public transport swiftly shifted from oil to gas and the increasing number of CNG vehicles the level of smoke declining in Karachi yet the air pollution is still five time more in Karachi than other developed cities of the world. It is feared that the process of conversion from oil to gas might be affected due to policies of the government which revenue starved and with considering the impact on health and economy has given a quantum jump to the gas prices which increased 31 percent recently.

If the newly elected government which claims to be the peoples government continued to take dictation from the world bank and IMF regarding price mechanism of POL products and gas, the price of natural gas which is an indigenous product would come at par with the international oil prices which is quite unreasonable because the level of income of the people never come at par with the international wages. Unless we enable people to increase the level of their earnings it is unjust and inhuman to force people to buy locally produced things at international prices. This price hike of natural gas will do no good to the efforts if there were any to control air pollution in Pakistan . There is a good example of controlling air pollution across the border in New Delhi where the city administration put a ban on use of diesel which is the great polluter among all the fuels. Today, Delhi where 100 percent vehicles are operating on CNG is a pollution free city. Why we cannot achieve that success in Pakistan especially when the gas is a natural gift in Pakistan while India has to buy from other countries like Iran , Qatar and other resources.


Besides transport, the power generation was another major area which pollutes the atmosphere especially due to thermal power generation which consumes fuel oil.

In a way, Pakistan was lucky to have a plenty of natural gas resources in the province of Sindh , Punjab and Balochistan and according to an estimate the proven reserves were sufficient for next 30 years in Pakistan provided these gas fields are developed and linked with the gas transmission network.

Natural gas is an extremely important source of energy for reducing pollution and maintaining a clean and healthy environment. In addition to being a domestically abundant and secure source of energy, the use of natural gas also offers a number of environmental benefits over other sources of energy, particularly other fossil fuels. This section will discuss the environmental effects of natural gas, in terms of emissions as well as the environmental impact of the natural gas industry itself. Scroll down, or click on the links below to be transported ahead.

Natural gas is the cleanest of all the fossil fuels. Composed primarily of methane, the main products of the combustion of natural gas are carbon dioxide and water vapor, the same compounds we exhale when we breathe. Coal and oil are composed of much more complex molecules, with a higher carbon ratio and higher nitrogen and sulfur contents. This means that when combusted, coal and oil release higher levels of harmful emissions, including a higher ratio of carbon emissions, nitrogen oxides (NOx), and sulfur dioxide (SO2). Coal and fuel oil also release ash particles into the environment, substances that do not burn but instead are carried into the atmosphere and contribute to pollution. The combustion of natural gas, on the other hand, releases very small amounts of sulfur dioxide and nitrogen oxides, virtually no ash or particulate matter, and lower levels of carbon dioxide, carbon monoxide, and other reactive hydrocarbons.

Global warming, or the 'greenhouse effect' is an environmental issue that deals with the potential for global climate change due to increased levels of atmospheric 'greenhouse gases'. There are certain gases in our atmosphere that serve to regulate the amount of heat that is kept close to the Earth's surface. Scientists theorize that an increase in these greenhouse gases will translate into increased temperatures around the globe, which would result in many disastrous environmental effects. In fact, the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change (IPCC) predicts in its 'Third Assessment Report' released in February 2001 that over the next 100 years, global average temperatures will rise by between 2.4 and 10.4 degrees Fahrenheit.

Global warming or other sort of pollutions - is a threat to the human kind and even to this world. Since it's a common issue, it should be handled collectively by all nations for the good of the generations yet to come. Allow natural gas exempted from all taxes in the interest of human life and protection of this beautiful world.

With the passage of time, the issue of pollution blown up out of proportion mainly due to negligence besides economic and financial considerations especially in the third world. Now is the time that the issue should be tackled collectively to protect the life on earth before it is too late. The nature has no discrimination between white & black. It deals everyone with the same yardstick.


The total liquid foreign reserves held by the country stood at $ 8,912.7 million on 13th September, 2008. The break-up of the foreign reserves position is as under:-

i) Foreign reserves held by the State Bank of Pakistan:

$ 5,524.8 million

ii) Net foreign reserves held by banks (other than SBP):

$ 3,387.9 million

iii) Total liquid foreign reserves:

$ 8,912.7 million