Kashmir divides, smog unites? Pakistan seeks India's cooperation to counter smog

Pakistan Punjab's Chief Minister Shehbaz Sharif has urged Amarinder Singh to sign a 'regional cooperation agreement' to counter smog

India and Pakistan have been fighting over Kashmir ever since the princely state was annexed to India in October 1947. But, it seems that the two countries have found a common ground in Punjab or the smog that is affecting the state on both the sides.

Pakistan Punjab Chief Minister Shehbaz Sharif has written a letter to his Indian counterpart, Amarinder Singh, urging him to cooperate to combat the issue of smog and environmental pollution that has caused issues on both the sides of the Line of Control (LoC).

The letter written by Sharif on November 19 was tweeted by the official Twitter handle of Pakistan Punjab on Tuesday, November 21. While the note was addressed to Punjab Chief Minister Amarinder Singh, Delhi Chief Minister Arvind Kejriwal was also tagged in the tweet. Here’s what the tweet said:

In his letter, Sharif has written that smog and environmental pollution affects people from both the states on either side of the border in the months of October and November and that the problem has aggravated this year.

It goes without saying that the smog has an adverse impact on public health, especially on the old and the children; on agriculture in the form of delayed sowing of wheat and damage to potato and other crops and causes traffic accidents.

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He said that it was in the interest of people of both the sides to identify technologies and business methods to eliminate the burning of rice stubble and controlling smog formation.

With this in view, I would like to invite you for entering into a regional cooperation arrangement to tackle the issue of smog as well as environmental pollution. Let us join hands for securing a prosperous future for the people of our two provinces.

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Responding to the tweet, Punjab Chief Minister Amarinder Singh’s media advisor Raveen Thukral wrote that Singh was extremely concerned about the issue and was actively pursuing the matter with the Indian government.