The anti-smog squad van careens through choking traffic in Lahore, on its way to track down factories belching out smoke – a seemingly futile task in one of the world’s most polluted cities.

Inside the white vehicle sits an armed escort protecting the six members of the team, who clutch a list of locations they plan to inspect that day.

They scan the grey, heavy sky for telltale plumes of toxic smoke that indicate a factory is breaking environmental laws.

Commuters make their way along a road amid smoggy conditions in Lahore [Arif Ali/AFP]

“All we need to do is follow the smoke to get to the source, we don’t even need the lists,” says Ali Ijaz, the environment department official in charge of the new

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