Fawad Chaudhry Lashes Out At Climate March Organiser
Pakistanis participated in the Global Climate Strike/March on September 20 where participants took out climate change rallies in all major cities of the country.
The international debate around climate change is gaining momentum as more people, especially concerned citizens, continue to join the ranks of climate activists to secure their future and that of the coming generations.
Unfortunately, yesterday’s climate march in Pakistan generated some controversy as is the usual practice in the land of the pure.
The climate change rallies held in different cities of Pakistan were mostly organised by common citizens and social activists without any help from government officials or institutions.
But Minister of State for Climate Change Zartaj Gul Wazir, while addressing participants of the march at Islamabad’s D-Chowk, tried to hijack the civil movement by claiming that it was Pakistan Tehreek-e-Insaf’s (PTI) initiative.
She pointed out that the incumbent government after coming into power initiated the “Clean Green Pakistan’ movement to provide a safe and healthy environment to citizens.
The climate change minister was called out by environmental lawyer Rafay Alam in a strong-worded tweet in which he also criticised the minister for her tactics.
Alam’s tweet read: “This lady didn’t hold anything. The only things she done is get her sister a job at NACTA.”
This lady didn’t hold anything. The only things she done is get her sister a job at NACTA. This piece of trash deserves to go home. https://t.co/L2CMPmGWVl
— Ahmad Rafay Alam (@rafay_alam) September 20, 2019
Federal Minister for Science and Technology Fawad Chaudhry also took to twitter to speak his mind in response to Alam’s tweet.
The minister tweeted: “Ahmad Your only contribution in life is you was adviser to ADB on BRT project.” It further read: “…you have audacity to criticise everyone left right and centre only because you are a cycle (lover) ….. ?”
Ahmad Your only contribution in life is you was adviser to ADB on BRT project, you have audacity to criticise everyone left right and centre only because you are a cycle (lover) ….. ? #Idiot https://t.co/Ohfg725aQ8
— Ch Fawad Hussain (@fawadchaudhry) September 20, 2019
It is a shame that such a noble movement has been made controversial by organisers/participants of the march and government officials. Social media users did not allow this twitter exchange to go unnoticed as people shared their thoughts on the issue.
Criticising the science and technology minister, one social media user said, “Curious to hear what you’ve accomplished in all the time you’ve spent in government”.
Curious to hear what you’ve accomplished in all the time you’ve spent in government, and with all the parties you’ve been associated with.
— Hassan Javid (@HassanJavid_) September 20, 2019
Meanwhile, another social media found the minister’s tweet as rude and uncalled for.
This is so rude and uncalled for. You are a minister and you’re tweeting against a citizen who is working tirelessly on climate change out of his own conscience. Arent we all in this for our country? And arent you ministers working for us, Pakistanis?
— Shehzil Malik (@shehzilm) September 20, 2019
Responding to Fawad’s tweet, a social media user questioned the minister’s own achievements.
Sir, can you kindly explain which one of your contributions made you eligible for the Science & Technology portfolio you currently hold?
It would be better for our country if our ministers put aside their fragile egos and engage with the genuine demands of protestors.
— Ammar Ali Jan (@ammaralijan) September 20, 2019
Ministers in the PTI government have been known for their controversial and sometimes absurd statements on different issues. The name of Minister of Human Rights Shireen Mazari also comes to mind in this connection as she has been criticised many times in the past for sharing perplexing tweets that were criticised by social media users.
Before and after coming into power, the Imran Khan-led government made tall claims about prioritising climate issues and improving the environment. But the claims have not materialised into action yet and have in fact been placed on the backburner. In these circumstances, the common people are the only losers.