by Wasim Abid & Rahman Ali Khan, Partners at Abid & Khan Law


The city of Islamabad, located in the Potohar Plateau, is the capital city of the Islamic Republic of Pakistan. The foundation for the city of Islamabad was laid in the year 1960. As per records available from the website of the Capital Development Authority, “After the formation of Pakistan in 1947, it was felt that a new and permanent Capital City had to be built to reflect the diversity of the Pakistani nation. It was considered pertinent to locate the new capital where it could be isolated from business and commercial activity of (sic) Karachi, and yet is easily accessible from the remotest corner of the country. A commission was set in motion in 1958, entrusted with the task of selecting a suitable site for the new capital with a particular emphasis on location, climate, logistics and defense requirements, aesthetics, and scenic and natural beauty”.

by Aisha Khan

Q. How well is the Ministry (MoCC) prepared to participate in COP22 in Marrakech?
A: MoCC has started the preparations for COP22, including a preparatory event being held with the support of the Civil Society Coalition on Climate Change and the French Embassy in Pakistan. As the Prime Minister of Pakistan has accepted the invitation by the Moroccan King, the Ministry will be making extra efforts to present Pakistan’s climate narrative at the COP effectively.

Q: Most people in Pakistan don’t know what COP is.  Can you briefly describe what it is, and who are nominated for participation and what is the basis for selection of delegation, and the end objective of participation?
A: COP is an official negotiating forum, in which officials dealing with particular issues participate to present the national positions on these issues. Participating delegates pursue the guidelines based on our official stance, and it is therefore imperative that only concerned officials participate in this event, so as to further the national interests in terms of climate change issues.


by Brian Cloughley

South Asia defence analyst and author of ‘A History of the Pakistan Army’


I’m not advocating putting Pakistan on the market as such. There are plenty of countries up for grabs at the moment, but Pakistan isn’t one of them, and let us hope that it never will be. No, the point is to emphasise that Islamabad needs to sell the country’s international image more effectively than what it has been doing. Because, honestly, there hasn’t been any good publicity about Pakistan for a very long time.

by Aisha Khan

Q: You served as Deputy Executive Director of UNEP for ten years and are now serving as Chair of SDPI. How do you see the evolution of Pakistan’s participation at the Conference of Parties?
A: Pakistan has all along participated in the annual conferences of parties (COPs) of the UN Climate Change Convention since 1985. Until 2009, Pakistan’s delegations usually comprised two officials of the then Ministry of Environment, but since the 13th COP in Bali, the size of our delegations has been larger ; over the last decade or so our contingents have included nearly a dozen officials and non-official delegates.

by Huma Khan

Director Research and Communications Center for Global & Strategic Studies


Asia is known for its vastness, beautiful terrain, and population. Diversity in terms of culture, religion, and political systems is the hallmark of its existence. Regional integration, which is an emerging trend in the global age, has been only witnessed in its different regions but no major effort has been made to integrate the whole continent, as is the case with Americas, Africa or Europe. There are forums, such as the ASEAN and SAARC, and SCO emphasizing on the integration of sub-regions of Far East, Central Asia, and South Asia respectively, but only with limited or closed membership. A regional inclusive body like the European Union is not in sight. Divergence in racial, cultural and linguistic terms is one thing, but non-similarity in terms of political systems is yet another reason for their not coming closer to each other. Some practise socialism, while others remain tied to capitalism or retain authoritarian structures.

by Aisha Khan

Q: How much is Pakistan affected by climate change?
A: Among the visible indicators of Climate Change (CC), the increased frequency of floods, droughts, tropical cyclones, heat waves and cloudbursts, are noteworthy.

Q: Are there some areas in which the impact is more than in others?
A: Analyses of temperature data over the last 85 years indicate increased warming. In the Southern half of the country, the increase is 0.9C, while glaciated part of Gilgit-Baltistan and Chitral (north of Pakistan) experienced an increase of 1.9C over the same period. However, in the monsoon zones of Punjab and KP (representing central part of Pakistan), minimal change of only +0.3C took place. Higher heat trap in glaciated zone of HKKH is the cause of concern in terms of glacial dynamics.

Q: Do we have a comprehensive vulnerability map that can help us to plan adaptation actions that are place based and people centric?
A:  The NDMA has conducted a study for disaster vulnerability on a district scale in collaboration with PMD, and other partner organisations. Quantification of impact is a continuous process and it should continue over different time scales.


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