New Delhi, Nov 17: Talk about India and Pakistan; everyone invariably speaks about the enmity between the two neighbouring countries. Till the British left the subcontinent in 1947, the two countries were one entity, but the partition drew sharp geographical and psychological borders difficult to erase in times of hyper nationalism.
However, the recent severe rise in air pollution level in both India and Pakistan has metaphorically brought the two countries together, under the 'same' smog-filled sky.
Be it in Delhi (India's capital) or Islamabad (Pakistan's capital), air pollution has remained between severe to hazardous levels in most of the cities in the two countries.
So, if nothing, it's the pollution that is bringing the two nations together. But the fact won't be of any relief to those who believe in building friendly relationships between both the countries, as pollution like war kills people.
As India and Pakistan are battling against pollution, a report by a United States (US) weather organisation brings further gloom to both the countries.
According to the report, North Indian and Pakistani cities are going to face extremely poor air quality in the next few months. Smog-filled cities in north India and Pakistan will continue to experience dangerous level of air quality over the next several months, the top American atmospheric organisation has said, warning that the cities could turn into dangerously unhealthy "snow globes".
"This is just the start to the smog season in northern India and Pakistan, as the monsoon will last for much of the upcoming winter. That means there are plenty of more opportunities for cold, stagnant air to fill with pollution, turning cities into dangerously unhealthy snow globes," the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration (NOAA) said in a statement recently.
The NOAA released satellite pictures and explained the reasons behind such a polluting atmosphere in major parts of north India and Pakistan. Widespread smog caused by the combustion of fuels and the burning of crops and fires made it dangerous to be outside in cities in northern India and Pakistan, it said.
According to experts, most of the north India and several parts of Pakistan have become unlivable because of unprecedented rise in air pollution.
In fact, now reports are galore that foreign diplomats and officials, especially those from the western countries, have expressed their hesitation to work in polluted cities of India and Pakistan.
Several reports also say that India soon needs to shift its capital from Delhi to some other place as smog-filled sky continues to create havoc in the lives of the people of the national capital since last week.