Citizen files petition for legalising sale of bhang

Published on: 22/09/2019 | Comments: No comments 

Representational Image (PHOTO: ATHAR KHAN/EXPRESS)

Representational Image (PHOTO: ATHAR KHAN/EXPRESS)

HYDERABAD:?The Sindh High Court (SHC) has taken up a petition pleading for legalising the sale of bhang, an intoxicating herbal concoction made from cannabis. The bench, comprising Justice Muhammad Iqbal Mahar and justice Irshad Ali Shah, has put the Sindh government and the secretaries of health and excise departments on notice for October 16.

The petitioner, Amanullah Soomro, pleaded that he had started drinking bhang in 1970. ?I used to buy bhang from shops, but for many years, it is no longer available at shops due to the government?s undeclared ban.?

He deplored that although the police have banned the sale of the intoxicant, liquor is easily available in the market. Soomro maintained that while bhang is being consumed in all provinces of Pakistan, its commercial sale has come to a halt.

He claimed that bhang was sold at the shops in the urban and rural towns, as well as villages, of Sindh till 1977 and the excise department had issued licenses for its trade. ?With the start of the covert Afghan war during the martial law regime of Ziaul Haq, the drug peddling of heroine and other narcotic items gradually replaced trade of bhang while an unannounced ban was also slapped on it,? he said.

Soomro contended that bhang is also a cheaper and a natural intoxicant in comparison to liquor. ?A small sachet of bhang is sufficient for making one glass [of the intoxicant], which can be sold for as little as Rs10.?

According to him, one of the reasons that liquor and other narcotic items replaced bhang in the market was that all these intoxicants were being sold at high prices in comparison to bhang.

The petitioner told the court that bhang can be cultivated in large quantities in the country. ?The air in Islamabad often carries the scent of bhang,? he said, referring to the bhang weed which grows in almost all parts of the capital.

Soomro prayed the court to order the Sindh government to issue licenses for bhang shops, similar to those issued to wine shops, pointing out that it would result in the government earning excise tax help reduce the consumption of narcotics.

Published in The Express Tribune, September 20th, 2019.

Pakistan Citizen Portal not delivering?

Published on: 10/09/2019 | Comments: No comments 

Dear Sir,
Pakistan Citizen Portal was established by sitting government to address people grievances regarding government departments so that good governance can be promoted and public service can be delivered to the citizens at their door steps. As this practice remained success story in previous KP government under CM Pervez Khatak and then Chief Secretary Azam Khan who provided substantial relief to the people through KP CM Complaint Cell. Reason of previous complaint cell success was then Chief Secretary and then CM personal attention towards the cell, as a result government departments were also taking complaints of the cell serious. In order to replicate previous success story Pakistan Citizen Portal was introduced at national level by sitting PTI government but performance of the Citizen Portal to resolve people issues is not effective and satisfactory in terms of providing relief to the citizens.

In the present Portal if you register your complaint it directly passed on to DC Chitral from the system, and from the office of DC Chitral it is further communicated to the relevant department. Officers of the relevant departments keep the complaint in his office for some days and then close the complaints without resolving the issue and without providing any relief with the false remarks ?Issue resolved? actually the issue is not resolved. This is the end destination of the complaint and it goes to waste bin. No feedback is taken from the complainants, when the complainants give some negative feedbacks regarding the issue on the feedback column it goes unnoticed.? PM Imran Khan, Chief Minister KP ?Mehmood Khan, Chief Secretary KP, Commissioner Malakand and other relevant authorities are requested to take notice of the issue to make Citizen Portal more effective and result oriented.

It is suggested that complaints should not be closed upon the remarks of the concerned department or officer, rather feedback from the complainants should be taken seriously before closing the complaints. Relevant department should give some substantial proof of resolving the issue and the proof must be uploaded in the portal which verifies that the issue is resolved. ?In case of negative feedback from the complainants? enquiry should be initiated against the department or the officer for giving false impression about resolution of the issue. Otherwise, if present situation continued and no corrective measure is taken then citizen will lose their trust on the portal and their issues will also go unresolved. Ultimately government initiative to resolve people issues will also produce no fruitful result and despondency among citizen will culminate further. .. Nasir Mehmood, Chitral 10 Sep 2019

Citizen files petition to remove mobile towers

Published on: 05/09/2018 | Comments: No comments 

A resident in Peshawar has filed a petition in high court, asking to move mobile phone towers from residential areas to non-residential areas due to the health hazards.

The petitioner, Muhammad Naeem, filed this petition in the Peshawar High Court (PHC) through his lawyer Noor Alam Khan, disputing that the antennas and other communication devices placed on high towers swamp the air with high-frequency microwaves that pose threats to humans and animals.

Naeem claimed that these mobile phone tower radiations affect every living organism within a square kilometer. He added that higher the frequency, the more potent the effect on all. In his petition, he further highlighted that this causes a variety of health problems including cardiovascular stress, memory loss, birth defects, cancer, miscarriages, brain tumors amongst others.

He advocated that the health effects of cell tower waves are worse than cigarette smoking and not only the human and animals are affected by them but also the trees.

The hazardous effects go to an extent that the production of fruit carrying trees has decreased from 100 percent to 5 percent in just 2.5 years after cell towers were introduced near farms, the petitioner maintained his stance.

He further requested the court to order the government to implement zoning laws made for environment protection and ensure the actions taken under international laws, guidelines, and strategies for the protection from radiations from the base transmission stations and microwaves antennas.

Governments all over the world are taking measures to clean their telecom industry and thus they are introducing?greener initiatives for making the telecom towers environment-friendly.

Continuous exposure to electromagnetic waves from telephony antennas could even cause cancer, a recent study warns. Last year, Ex-Interior Minister, Chaudhry Nisar Ali Khan had also?vowed to address the issue?but he never followed up on his statement.

According to researchers who studied and observed a sample of 200 people residing in areas with a high density of cell phone towers in the center of Calcutta found visible physical impacts. Some of them lived in buildings that had towers on the roof, others lived less than 50 meters from these types of buildings. Almost everyone said they had been experiencing some kind of physical discomfort.

The companies involved are obviously powerful and they even pay researchers to give counter findings for mobile phone tower radiations. We will follow the proceedings of the court and will inform you about how the court tackle this grave issue. .. Source