British envoy urges citizens to keep Islamabad clean

Published May 8, 2021
British Ambassador Christian Turner holds bags of trash collected from the Margalla Hills on Friday.
British Ambassador Christian Turner holds bags of trash collected from the Margalla Hills on Friday.

ISLAMABAD: British High Commissioner Dr Christian Turner on Friday cleaned up a hiking trail after visitors left their trash behind.

“Another Friday morning walk another two bags of litter. Safaai nisf imaan hai,” Dr Turner tweeted with a picture of himself with two bags of trash that he had collected and hashtagged Deputy Commissioner Islamabad Hamza Shafqaat and Clean Green Pakistan.

His effort was appreciated by celebrities and people from all walks of life. Former cricket star and sports commentator, Wasim Akram, responded saying, “Now this is really embarrassing. Where are we heading? And thanks Mr Turner for doing this almost every week.”

Other responses to his tweet were: “Thank you for your efforts in highlighting this litter epidemic blighting a beautiful city,” and “Let’s pray the upcoming generations are more litter conscious.”

In April, Dr Turner had posted a similar message that said: “Meals are for sharing not littering. Two bags of rubbish collected on Margalla’s Friday morning walk - please help keep beautiful Islamabad clean.”

DC Islamabad Hamza Shafqaat along with his team of Tiger Force volunteers also posted a video message while they were busy collecting trash from the mountains.

“It’s our duty to keep our city clean if you’re out for Iftar please don’t throw trash around. Unfortunately, people leave their waste after Iftari in the forest area. Today we gathered our teams and helped the sanitation teams in keeping the forest areas clean,” Mr Shafqaat responded in his twitter message.

The embarrassment caused was bound to happen, said Islamabad Wildlife Management Board Chairperson Rina Saeed Khan. “There are no bins for visitors to throw their trash. We begged and pleaded with the Capital Development Authority (CDA) to allow us to install eco-friendly monkey proof trash bins but they declined. In fact they do not acknowledge the IWMG as custodians of the Margalla Hills National Park,” she added.

Traffic and littering increased ten times after restaurants started giving out food in takeaway packing, she said, adding: “People take away food from Monal and other restaurants in the national park and find picnic spots around Iftar time and leave tonnes of trash behind. The IWMB has only 40 staff members for trails 2, 3, 4, 5 and 6, a huge terrain to cover. We have already banned trekkers and hikers from carrying nap snacks on trails still they sneak them in.”

Published in Dawn, May 8th, 2021

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