A Senate Committee was astonished to learn on Thursday that Pakistan willingly (some may say, happily) accepted its crown as the top dumping destination from the world’s most advanced countries. Not to cast even a shadow of doubt on their word but the country’s thriving “scrap” industry and the open routes to access authorities responsible for the issuance of No-Objection Certificates are secret to none. What is, however, surprising is that our so-called friends and leading lights of the new, green international community refuse to honour the pledges that hold their feet to fire outside geographic boundaries. Wasn’t it just last year that British leader Boris Johnson unveiled a historic eco-friendly industrial revolution? Does the promise to lend the developing countries a helping hand in adopting renewable technology mean gifting them with over 40,000 tonnes of waste of all sorts? Let alone the machinery and manpower to handle hazardous waste, Pakistan does not even own the capacity to comb through the regular piles of rubbish. Recycling is not widely practised and the waste management systems are dysfunctional. Filled to the brim landfills and towers upon towers of waste lining streets are enough testament to the horrors. Those working as scavengers at markets for e-waste, perpetually finding a lucky gold wire or a lucrative copper thread are the primary target. According to statistics compiled in 2014, over 5.2 million people die as the burning of hazardous materials poisons the air all over, nearly four million of which are the children employed as labour at these sites. The top political leadersip’s disgust at having to deal with waste from the “rest of the world” when we cannot “handle our own” is the right way to go but mere words–however strong– have never solved a problem. What is instead needed is the will to go after the scrap mafia that has the guts to empty as many as 624 filled containers along the precious coastline without leaving a single trail. Now is not the time to busy ourselves in dotting the i’s and crossing the t’s of legislation but to unleash the full wrath of the law upon those determined to endanger our lives and those of our children.