Careless tourists.

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Pakistan, because of environmental and security issues faced a sharp decline in tourism. However, as the conditions have progressed, the tourists visiting are reckless in trashing the country.

Everyone is visiting northern areas of Pakistan but if they lack basic etiquettes and respect then they shouldn’t visit such beautiful places. Post Pandemic everyone is adamant and traveling to touristy spots making it over crowded and leaving it polluted further damaging the environment. This problem is widely common in Hunza, Swat, Murree and further north.

If tourists can’t act responsibly then they should be fined and heavily penalized when caught throwing trash and disrespecting the environment, big dumbing bins should be set and plastic should be completely banned up north so our waterbodies remain safe and pure. If someone wants to purchase plastic bags then introduce a cost to it. If people are made to pay for it then the purchasing power of plastic will diminish and together, we can stop the production of plastic. Carry Canvas bags with you or other reusable bags which you don’t have to dumb after one use. It takes millions of years for plastic to completely degenerate.

Multiple brands have replaced plastic straws with bio-degradable straws and this initiative should be extended towards cups and other products too. Cozy cafes and restaurants have opened up at touristy spots and they should be the first one’s to implement such initiatives. Pakistan should place emphasis on tourists to carry reusable water bottles. Otherwise, people dumb them everywhere making the environment dirty and stingy. We are all responsible for noise pollution too. The least we can do while enjoying is to take into consideration the culture and people living there. We shouldn’t be invested in any activities that might adversely affect them.

Where skiing, trekking and boating are fun activities now incorporated with better facilities we should also consider ways we are harming the environment. If you go for any outdoor activities and see trash, please help in cleaning it. It is your job to help as well. Please don’t ruin the home and sanctuary of people living there. Don’t make it difficult for them. If you are taking heaps of garbage with you, bring them back or find ways to dump them appropriately otherwise you are a part of problem too!

Laws exist but they aren’t as such enforced making it difficult to resolve the issue. Pakistan already is in debt and by improving their tourist industry they can tackle number of issues. Yet, there seems no such action taken until now. We hope that the authorities realize how important it is and how grave the situation has got.

Plastic is a worst form of our ecosystem and the fact that it is still used is alarming. If big brands are not acting responsibly and moving towards sustainability then how can we blame small brands? If we don’t join hands and work towards eliminating factors degrading environment then we have no right to vent once our rivers are completely inhabitable and contaminated. When temperatures rise and fresh water isn’t available at our disposal.

So, whilst you are enjoying the beautiful picturesque views of Pakistan, please don’t ruin the ecosystem and natural habitats there. Everyone including us will face the repercussions and costs if the situation isn’t tackled appropriately. Let’s make sure we play our part.

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Raviha Memon

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