Ahmad Shabbar, the ‘Manshoor-ian’ Candidate, whose politics is the green politics has stepped into the political arena for the first time with his electoral bid. Shabbar, who claims to be Pakistan’s first-ever climate justice candidate, is contesting as an independent candidate from the PS-110 constituency. He intends to launch his own green ‘organic’ political party post-election. 


A ‘wapistani’ with a nuclear science and engineering background, Shabbar has put together a draft manifesto centering on environmental action and climate justice – the first Green Manifesto of Pakistan along with a seven-point agenda for the Election 2024 and a priority list for his constituency. Shabbar has been the litigant in key climate justice environmental legal fights such as the protection of Bundal and Buddo Islands case, the case against the Emaar Towers built on reclaimed seashore and the Malir Expressway case.


The key points in his manifesto are:
●    Compulsory Environmental Impact Assessments for development projects.
●    Assessment of small infrastructure projects such as street water line maintenance by relevant departments with audits of such assessments by local and provincial governments
●    A push for green spaces in the city with 25 percent green cover.
●    Solar-powered street lights, emphasising renewable energy.
●    Eco-friendly construction materials aligned with the local climate.
●    Halting illegal land reclamation and trash-filled building foundations.
●    Real-time local and city-wide Air Quality Index (AQI) data accessible to the public.
●    Revisiting taxes on eco-idle cars to be revisited with a potential removal of taxation.
●    Green Job development focusing on solar and bio energy, solid-waste management,  agriculture and forestry, and manufacturing.
●    Corporate Regenerative Endowment for Environment and Climate (CREEC)  to be created with compulsory contributions by large corporations.
●    Local solar panel production to be encouraged with tax benefits
●    Turning the Bundal-Buddu-Khiprianwala island areas into a nature reserve with first rights for indigenous and local communities
●    Stop encroachment of Kirthar National Park land by Bahria Town
●    Stop exploitation of Karoonjhar for mining and to uphold its status as a national heritage and national park.
●    Revisit Resettlement and Rehabilitation Policy Sindh 2022. Public and expert participation to be ensured in its development.
●    Karachi Master Plan 2047 addressing climate realities and housing needs for growing population.
The only manifesto to have talked about eco-faith, Shabbar aims to:
●    Begin discourse on what faith has to say about environment
●    Have discussions on how mutual climate action promotes interfaith harmony
●    Climate migration protection bill to be introduced. Migrant settlement to be ensured with adequate living, healthcare, education facilities to be ensured. 
On a national level, he demands:
●    Transparency  by the Ministry of Climate Change/ Executive Committee of the National Economic Council (ECNEC)/ Economic Coordination Committee (ECC) in all pre-agreement negotiations and pre-disclosure of all agreements and documents of financing arrangements with international financial institutions and multilateral development banks regarding the international Loss & Damages funds announced by the Conference of the Parties (COP) and United Nations Framework Convention on Climate Change (UNFCC).


Jibran Nasir – the Environmentalist’s Advocate


The lawyer for the murdered wildlife Vlogger Nazim Jokhio, is contesting the elections as an independent candidate from the PS-110 constituency in Karachi South. Nasir also won the Bundal and Buddo islands preservation case for the petitioners Yasir Hussain (head of CAC), Shabbar and Dr Jamil Kazmi (ex-head of Geography Department, Karachi University). 
While Nasir does not have a documented manifesto, he tells Arsalan Ali of Times of Karachi that his elections-related mobile application is his manifesto; further, in a recent podcast and tweet, he articulated his views on protecting the mangroves and the Bundal and Buddo islands as an act of climate justice.


Subedited by Maleeha Hamid Siddiqui
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The story is a collaborative effort between The Citizenry and The Times of Karachi, in partnership with the Climate Action Center.

 

Written By Sadya Siddiqui