‘Safaai nisf imaan hai’: UK envoy Turner holds up mirror to Pakistanis

British HC collects trash from Margalla Hills hiking trails, strewn with litter such as empty cans and water bottles

News Desk May 07, 2021

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.

"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."

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.

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.

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 others also expressed their views on the chronic issue of the capital city.


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.



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