Toxic Water Fears In Pakistan Region Infamous For Deformities

KOT ASSADULLAH, PAKISTAN:  Basharat Ali was 15 when his legs began to falter, a condition doctors have blamed on polluted water in a Pakistani region infamous for the deformities that afflict many of its people.

Too weak to carry his own schoolbag, he was taken to hospital, where doctors said water laden with toxic levels of arsenic, fluoride, minerals and various metals was to blame.

"It was a big blow to me as I had to quit my studies to get treatment," Ali told AFP on the rooftop of his house some 45 kilometres (28 miles) from Lahore, the capital of Pakistan's largest province Punjab.