Ignorance and Madness

31

“A nation that destroys its soils destroys itself. Forests are the lungs of our land, purifying the air and giving fresh strength to our people.” Unfortunately, in Pakistan few attention seekers destroying the nature for the sake of fame game. This is a disturbing and disastrous trend on TikTok, Young people desperate for followers are setting fire to the forests during this hot and dry season. Earlier this month, the police arrested a man in Abbottabad for intentionally starting a forest fire as a background for a video. And now, a popular Pakistani social media figure with millions of followers is facing severe criticism after posing for a TikTok video of a forest fire. While she is claiming to have permission from the relevant authority for her video. Whatever the action is not justifying to ablaze the land for the sake of entertainment. The videos come as Pakistan battles one of its worst heatwaves in years. Temperatures have peaked at 51 degrees Celsius in parts of the country in recent days, leaving the poor and vulnerable struggling to beat the heat. According to the Global Climate Risk Index compiled by NGO Germanwatch, Pakistan is the eighth most vulnerable country to extreme weather caused by climate change. However, experts say there is a lack of awareness among the population about environmental issues. Meanwhile, forest fires are common from mid-April through to the end of July, caused by searing temperatures and lightning as well as slash-and-burn farming. Government should make sure that culprits are punished and the TikToker along with the brand should be penalized. Last but not the least there should be a public awareness campaign in Pakistan regarding climate catastrophes and the importance of forests for Pakistan to deal with the environmental challenges.

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