Pakistani, Indian experts call for transboundary cooperation to counter air pollution crisis

ISLAMABAD, April 17 (Xinhua) -- Pakistani and Indian experts are of the view that enhanced transboundary cooperation, scientific knowledge and data sharing are the need of the hour to counter the air pollution crisis faced by the two countries.

The scientific and civil communities of both countries need to join hands and work together to tackle challenges such as climate change, environmental pollution and water mismanagement, said the experts during a seminar organized by the Sustainable Development Policy Institute (SDPI), an Islamabad-based think-tank, on Wednesday.

Speaking on the occasion, Abid Qaiyum Suleri, executive director of the SDPI, said that agricultural waste burning, transport, and industrial emissions are the major sources of pollution in the region, highlighting transport and industrial emissions are slow poisons tainting the atmosphere day by day.

"We can identify areas and develop synergies in research and policy discourse, whereas the civil society organizations, researchers and experts' role is critical to create paths that are not being explored for solutions," he said.

Happymon Jacob, associate professor at Jawaharlal Nehru University, New Delhi, India, said that keeping in view the magnitude of the risk posed by transboundary air pollution, Pakistan and India can benefit from bilateral collaboration in managing research on the issue.

"Climate cooperation is the most achievable thing if done bilaterally ... Pakistan-India ties need to move away from a non-cooperation attitude to mutual cooperation, which is crucial," the professor added.

The experts believe that the enhanced cooperation among regional countries would bring South Asia closer on issues like pollution, water management, climate change, internal and external migration that demand region-wide solutions.

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