Sir: The authorities in Pakistan have never taken the protection of the natural environment seriously. As a consequence, today the air and water in our cities is completely polluted. On top of this, our citizens throw trash wherever they go, creating massive piles of trash which are both an eyesore and a major health hazard. When most Pakistanis want to take a break from the hustle and bustle of stressful city life, they go to the beautiful mountains and hill stations in Pakistan’s northern areas. Sadly, they are unable to break their old habits and litter wherever they go, bringing the ugliness of our cities to the tiny islands of natural beauty that remain in this unfortunate country. Today, if one goes to areas which were popular tourist destinations a few decades ago, like Murree or Nathiagali for example, piles of trash can be seen everywhere. Since this has made these areas less attractive, now local tourist set their eyes further north to the Mountains of Azad Kashmir and Khyber Pakhtunkhwa. With more and more tourists visiting these areas everyday, they too will be contaminated unless the authorities take decisive action. As such, new legislation must be drafted to protect our northern areas. Anybody found littering in these areas must be forced to pay a heavy fine. Our people must learn to be held accountable for their actions. AHMED RAFAY Islamabad Published in Daily Times, July 9th 2018.