British High Commissioner to Pakistan Dr Christian Turner, who has been actively working to promote positive image of Pakistan, on Friday posted images of trash he collected on his way back from Islamabad's Margalla Hills after a morning walk, putting at shame people responsible for littering the scenic hiking trails.
Margalla Hills are a major attraction for tourists as well as the residents of the capital city who come in droves to trek through its trails.
However, unfortunately, like all other major cities of Pakistan, this area is also marred by waste all over the place. The Margalla Hills hiking trails are strewn by trash such as empty cans, water bottle wrappers and worst of all plastic bags.
"Another Friday morning walk, another two bags of litter. Safaai nisf imaan hai [cleanliness is half of faith]," Turner wrote on his official Twitter handle with a picture of himself holding two bags full of garbage.
Soon after the tweet, Islamabad Deputy Commissioner Muhammad Hamza Shafqaat posted a video of himself and other volunteers while collecting the garbage from the picturesque location.
"Sanitation Teams picked up 1,600 tonnes of waste today. Despite our over commitment with Covid we volunteered along with Tiger Force," he wrote along with a video.
Volunteering for cleanliness activity on Margalla Hills. Unfortunately ppl leave their waste after aftari in the forest area. @CTurnerFCDO highlighted the issue. Today we gathered our teams and helped the sanitation teams in keeping the forest areas clean. pic.twitter.com/bSQHbDmV0X— Office of Deputy Commissioner Islamabad (@dcislamabad) May 7, 2021
"Everyone please remember that cleanliness is a 2 way street and every one of us is responsible for it and not just the British High Commissioner."
Sanitation Teams picked up 1600 tonnes of waste today. Despite our over commitment with covid we volunteered along with @TigersForceICT. Everyone plz remember that cleanliness is a 2 way street and everyone of us is responsible for it and not just the British High Commissioner https://t.co/jVwwrjZC3o pic.twitter.com/KKlVClQIOQ— Muhammed Hamza Shafqaat (@hamzashafqaat) May 7, 2021
کتنا اچھا ہو کہ اپنا پھیلایا ہوا کچرا ہم خود سمیٹیں جوہماری زمہ داری ہے اور انتظامیہ سے امن وامان٫ کورونا SOPs، پرائس کنٹرول اور دیگر انکی زمہ داریوں پرحساب مانگیں۔کل کوان پبلک ٹوائلٹس کی فوٹیج اگرشیئر ہو جہاں کوئئ فلش نہیں کرتااس کی زمہ داری بھی ڈی سی پر ڈالنا.کیا لوگ ہیں ہم 🗣️ pic.twitter.com/eC133sQbXZ— Asiya Ansar (@asiyaansar) May 7, 2021
However, many on Twitter disputed the figure of 1,600 tonnes of garbage. "DC Sahab is claiming too much that he along with sanitation teams & tiger force picked up 1600 tonnes (1.6 million KGs) of waste from Margalla hills today," said Usama Qureshi.
"DC Sahib do you know how much 1,600 tonnes really is? Islamabad city on a daily basis generates about 500-600 tonnes. And your team picked up nearly three times that in a couple of hours? By the way how many Environmental Science grads does the Commissioner's office have?," Imran Saqib questioned.
DC Sahib do you know how much 1600 tonnes really is? Islamabad city on a daily basis generates about about 500-600 tonnes. And your team picked up nearly three times that in a couple of hours? By the way how many Environmental Science grads does the Commissioners office have?— Imran Saqib Khalid (@imran2u) May 7, 2021
Legendary cricketer Wasim Akram was also among the people who felt embarrassed about the worsening sanitation situation in the country. "Now this is really embarrassing. Where are we heading? And thanks Mr Turner for doing this almost every week," he tweeted.
Former cricketer and bowling coach Azhar Mahmood thanked the British high commissioner for collecting the waste and hoped that the citizens of Islamabad can get together and follow suit. "Most importantly stop littering the city and our beloved country," he added.
Thank you sir ! I hope that citizens of Islamabad can get together and follow suit. Most importantly stop littering the city and our beloved country.— Azhar Mahmood (@AzharMahmood11) May 7, 2021
Former MNA Bushra Gohar said that Pakistan and Islamabad has a serious waste management problem. "We need to strengthen & empower LG. IMO Children also need to be taught about civic responsibilities at home & schools at an early age," she added.
Many thanks for cleaning up the mess left behind by others. #Pakistan/#Islamabad has a serious waste management problem. We need to strengthen & empower LG.— Bushra Gohar (@BushraGohar) May 7, 2021
IMO Children also need to be taught about civic responsibilities at home & schools at an early age. @dcislamabad
Many others also expressed their views on the chronic issue of the capital city.
Thanks for doing this. It is indeed great service if you can teach my country men/women this principle of safai as nisf imaan— Ayesha Siddiqa (@iamthedrifter) May 7, 2021
We thankfull to you sir. But inside my heart i very sad for our citizens. We have lack of education,because Nawaz sharif looted the wealth of this poor nation ,and enjoying his life in London. He must spend that money on our education. pic.twitter.com/AfJViJkMLJ— Chaudry Sohail (@ChaudrySohail5) May 7, 2021
As a Muslim we have a duty to keep our environment free from garbage because cleanliness is half faith. But unfortunately a non-Muslim knows that the environment should be protected from garbage but we Muslims do not ... Good job @CTurnerFCDO 👏👍 https://t.co/cNcXtmug9z— Muhammad Sikandar Ali (@msikandarali703) May 7, 2021
We teach this to children on daily basis. Problem is there is no concept of fines and punishments for littering.— nazia (@mebeyg) May 7, 2021
Littering is infectious in Pakistan (probably some other places too, but I’m not concerned about them).— Richard Harris (@HarrisRichard77) May 7, 2021
I had to explain to my children how they shouldn’t just throw away food wrappers and drinks cans from the car window, because they had seen so many people do it. https://t.co/x07Y09n3Eo
This is not the first time Turner posted the photos to grab the attention of the authorities on the matter. On April 30, he posted a similar picture of collecting two bags of garbage on his morning walk on Margalla Hills in the federal capital.
Meals are for sharing not littering. Two bags of rubbish collected on Margallas #FridayMorningWalk - please help keep beautiful Islamabad clean cc @hamzashafqaat @dcislamabad @CleanGreenPK pic.twitter.com/jHcvUWxO1c— Christian Turner (@CTurnerFCDO) April 30, 2021