Dera Ghazi Khan: Locals in Pakistan‘s Dera Ghazi Khan and nearby areas in Pakistan have witnessed a steep rise in the number of cancer and skin disease patients.

The worsening situation is allegedly due to the extraction of radioactive materials and dumping of the waste untreated in the Koh-i-Sulaiman mountainous areas of the country, a statement by the Baloch Women Forum (BWF) said on Saturday.

According to the report titled ‘Their denial and our silence both are killing Baloch’ of BWF, the locals of DG Khan have reported an alarming rise in illnesses such as bone marrow-related problems, liver cancer, lung cancer, kidney illness, bone cancer, facial tumour, and intestinal cancer.

While stating the reason for such a rise in diseases the BWF stated, “The reason is obvious, the extraction of uranium and dumping of waste materials (mainly radioactive materials) in the mountains of Koh-i-Sulaiman. Many cases are reported among these years where youth have been affected and some of them embraced death fighting cancer”.

The statement mentioned that deposits of rare earth minerals were discovered during the 1960s, resulting in the initiation of mining operations by Pakistan Atomic Energy in 1977 in Baghalchar. These minerals discovered from the area, especially Uranium-235 and U-238, are scientifically known as yellowcake.

Their Denial and our silence both are killing “Baloch”

Locals in Dera Ghazi Khan and nearby areas are suffering from various illnesses, such as bone marrow, liver cancer, lung cancer, kidney illness, bone cancer, facial tumor, and intestinal cancer.

The report also stated that the Pakistan Atomic Energy Commission has restricted the movement of the local population from mountainous and urban areas of Dera Ghazi Khan and forcibly evicted local people from their lands.

The report said “Various projects are located in those areas from where nuclear weapons are launched and 60 to 80 per cent of people suffer from liver diseases and cancer, which is many times more than other cities”. (ANI)

  • Published On Jun 30, 2024 at 05:06 PM IST

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