Five killed in mishaps
Sepa directed to remove all industrial waste in seven days
Friday, March 12, 2010
The Supreme Court of Pakistan (SCP) directed the Sindh Environment Protection Agency (Sepa) to remove all toxic industrial waste from industrial areas within seven days.
The direction came in a human rights case against toxic waste dumping in SITE area and other spaces. A child died and 20 others children were injured due to the dumping of toxic waste in SITE area in March 2006 while as many as 14 children sustained injuries due to dumping of industrial waste in and around of Rahimshah graveyard in Orangi Town by a paint manufacturing factory on November 6, 2006.
The three member SCP bench headed by Chief Justice Iftikhar Mohammad Chaudhry took notice of the environmental agency’s inefficiency from preventing the dumping of toxic waste in an open space near a residential colony that resulted into death of a child and injuries of several other children. The court observed that Sepa has the powers to take action but these are not being exercised by the agency.
The court asked the representative of industries association to adopt a respectable way of doing business by not dumping outside their respective factories as there is no provision in the law to dump the waste outside a factory. “There should be self accountability by the business community and if a factory owner cannot fulfill the required laws regarding his factory, he should close down the business instead of gaining profit at the cost of other lives,” the chief justice observed.
Khawaj Mohammad, father of Iftikhar, a child who died due to the toxic waste, as well as the father of another injured kid also appeared before the court. Khawaja Mohammad submitted that he was provided compensation by the owner of Gharib Nawaz Factory while compensation was also given to other injured child in an out of court settlement. However, he added that he was unaware whether the other children, who received minor injuries, received compensation or not.
The Director General Sepa assured that all toxic waste would be removed from the industrial areas within seven days. The court directed the SHO SITE to conduct an investigation regarding dumping of industrial waste as well as to ascertain the whereabouts of other remaining injured children and submit a report. The court directed the office to tag the case with petitions relating to environment pollution and adjourned the bearing
Sit-in ends after PM’s assurances; FIR lodged against Marvi Memon
Friday, March 12, 2010
The seven-day-long sit-in outside the Karachi Press Club (KPC) by employees of the National Program for Improvement of Water Courses (NPIW) ended on Thursday after assurances by the federal government that the matter would be sorted out.
The protest, headed by PML-Q leader and MNA Marvi Memon, who was on the site herself for the last seven days, was to seek the regularization of services of the employees of the foreign-funded project, which is set to end in coming months.
It is unclear what assurances have been given, but, according to reports, Memon has been assured by Prime Minister Yousuf Raza Gilani himself that the workers’ demands would be worked out amicably.
Prior to the assurances by the government and subsequent ending of the sit-in, an FIR was registered against Ms Memon for leading the sit-in. The FIR, 111/2010, was lodged on the complaint of SHO Artillery Maidan police station for the violation of Section 144. This did not seem to deter Memon and the workers who vowed to carry on with the protest till the fulfillment of the demands.
SC orders arrest of DSP, SHO in missing person case
Friday, March 12, 2010
The Supreme Court on Thursday ordered the arrest of a DSP and SHO of the Hyderabad police for their alleged involvement in the unlawful detention of a Jeay Sindh Qaumi Mahaz (JSQM) leader.
The court was hearing a petition against the alleged abduction of Akash Malah by the law-enforcement agencies on October 30 last year from the Bhitai Nagar area in Hyderabad. The petitioner alleged that the Bhitai Nagar police, along with personnel of some intelligence agency, had picked up Akash.
The DPO Hyderabad expressed his unawareness about the whereabouts of the detainee. However, he said that a joint investigation team was constituted to recover the JSQM leader.
The SC’s three member bench, headed by Chief Justice Iftikhar Mohammad Chaudhry, ordered the Hyderabad regional police officer to arrest the DSP and SHO of the Bhitai Nagar police station and produce them before the court on Friday.
Encroachment case: The Karachi Port Trust and the City District Government Karachi assured the Supreme Court that they will allocate land for the parking of the oil tankers, which were presently being parked at the Shaireen Jinnah Colony.
The court was hearing a complaint of Ms Shagufta against encroachment and illegal parking of oil tankers in the Clifton Block 1 area.
Representatives of oil tanker owners submitted that they were willing to move their tankers if they were provided with alternate space. They informed the court that coal importers were being allowed to dump their waste by the Karachi Port Trust near the sea. On this, the court asked the KPT as to why such dumping was being allowed near the sea as it would add to pollution. The KPT representative said that the land in question was supposed to be used for the KPT deep water project, assuring the court to shift the coal dumping site. The KPT official said that three acres of land will be provided for the parking area of oil tankers.
The SC directed the KPT official, the additional advocate general and representatives of oil tanker owners to visit the site and submit a report whether the said land was clear for parking or not.
Additional Advocate General Sindh Sarwar Khan assured the court that land situated in Zulfiqarabad will be allotted for the purpose and that the CDKG will set up a parking area there. The court adjourned the hearing till Friday.
The chief justice observed that the situation in the country would change when the public functionaries realise the fact that the country may suffer due to their negligence.
PIA employee case: Also, the SC accepted a petition of an employee of Pakistan International Airlines, directing the PIA administration to release the outstanding dues to the petitioner.
Amanullah, a grade 4 employee of the PIA finance department, had challenged an order of the PIA administration for placing him in surplus pool, submitting that he was deprived of promotion and posting abroad due to the impugned action. The court, after hearing the case, observed that the petitioner was transferred without any justification, ordering PIA to issue the outstanding benefits to the petitioner. It said that the sum should be obtained from the officer who had issued the notification.
Commonwealth writers’ prize 2010
‘Pakistani writers in English introductory cards to the world’
Friday, March 12, 2010
Pakistani writers in English are the introductory cards that writers of older Pakistani languages sent out to the world.
These views were expressed by noted poetess, political, and social activist Fehmida Riaz. She was speaking as chief guest at the ceremony to honour the winners of the Commonwealth Writers’ Prize 2010 at the Indus Valley School of Art and Architecture Thursday evening.
Ms Riaz said that these writers carried a big responsibility since they had to speak to audiences from the West where highly critical and analytical thinking was the order of the day. She reminded them of the difficulty such a role entailed in the present-day world given the turbulent times we all were living in, what with all the suicide bombings, the crippling ethnic and sectarian strife, the ever-deepening economic depression, and all the killings and mayhem.
It was amid this scenario, she said, that a heavy responsibility devolved on the writers in English to positively project their culture and their heritage, “A writer in English is such a novelty to the West”, she remarked.
Pakistan, she said, was a late starter in the field of English writers vis-‡-vis India and the gap had to be filled in, she said. However, she lauded the achievements of Pakistani writers.
The Best First Book Prize (regional) for 2010 was bagged by Danyal Moeenuddin for his work, “Other Rooms, other wonders”. The book is set mostly in southern Punjab.
British author, Rana Dasgupta, bagged the award for his “Solo”, a book that revolves around the memories and daydreams of Ulrich, a hundred years old blind man in Sofia in Bulgaria.
Noted journalist Muneeza Shamsie, Regional Chairperson of the Commonwealth Writers Prize, 2010, Committee, said that appreciation of different cultures was imperative to international understanding. She stressed the correlation between literature, art, culture, and architecture. Freedom of thought and expression, she said, was essential to nurturing an intellectually flowering society. She said this while announcing the setting up of the liberal arts department at the school.
Aisha Dar, head of the nascent liberal arts department, said that liberal arts fostered creativity, creative thinking, effective communication, strength of character, and a spirit of enquiry.
Muhammad Hanif, the first-ever Pakistani winner of the Commonwealth Prize in 2009, for his book, “A Case of Exploding Mangoes”, read portions from his book, including the one recounting the first meeting of General Ziaul Haq’s first cabinet meeting after clamping of martial law in 1977.
The portion was punctuated with highly witty and humorous remarks and quips and gave a humorous twist to an otherwise somber subject.
Noted television personality, Nimra Bucha, read passages from Danyal Moeenuddin’s book, “Other Rooms, Other Wonders”. It was a good presentation with Ms Bucha’s crisp accent, well-modulated voice, and effective cadences.
Another TV celebrity, Talat Hussain, read passages from “Solo” by British prize winner, Rana Dasgupta. Talat’s well-modulated voice, conforming to the rules of theatrics, gave a poignant colour to the passage he read. The programme was compered by noted TV talk show host, Ayesha (Tammy) Haq.
Charges in Hawala case framed
Friday, March 12, 2010
Charges were framed in a sessions court against an accused for his alleged involvement in illegal transactions of foreign exchange worth millions through Hundi and Hawala.
The accused, Mehboob Motiwala was produced in the court on Thursday, where pleaded not guilty and denied all charges leveled against him.
District and Sessions Judge Faheem Ahmed Siddiqui also issued notice to produce prosecution witnesses on the next hearing date which falls on March 27. According to the prosecution, Motiwala was arrested on December 17, 2008 by the FIA. A case, was registered in this regard.
The case was registered against the suspect after initiating an inquiry on a complaint No 108/08 lodged by the State Bank of Pakistan regarding the illegal transfer of money abroad. So far, four bank accounts opened by the suspect, under false names have been identified.
statement recorded: In the hearing of a murder case against former minister Qabool Mohammed Shah, prosecution witness (PW) Sub-Inspector Abdul Qadeer deposed on Thursday in the court of Judicial Magistrate Jehangir Ahmed Dayo.
Qadeer appeared before the court and recorded his statement wherein he informed the court about the site inspection of the incident. Shah has been charged with allegedly killing Fateh Jakhrani and injuring Talmizuddin in Hyderabad in May 2004.
‘Protection from diabetes mandatory
for protection against kidney failure’
Friday, March 12, 2010
Protection from diabetes is essential for protection against kidney failure, doctors at various events held on World Kidney Day said.
The Sindh Institute of Urology and Transplantation (SIUT) and the Agha Khan University Hospital (AKUH) organised seminars at their respective institutions to inform the public about prevention and care against diabetes which silently causes defects in all organs of a person.
Sixty to 70 per cent of renal failure occurs because of diabetes and hypertension, said Dr Ejaz Ahmed, professor of Nephrology at the SIUT. Medication to control hypertension must be used once a person develops rising blood pressure, because they protect against kidney failure. “Elevated blood pressure should be investigated for kidney disease,” he said.
Simple laboratory tests are the easiest way to diagnose kidney failure, Dr Ahmed said. “It gets dangerous in later stages, because either the kidney needs to be removed or treatment through dialysis is required. The latter is a painful procedure.”
Dr Ali Asghar Lanewala of the SIUT spoke about the prevalence of bladder stones among children, and said that controlling urination for too long can result in bladder stones. “This has almost been eradicated from the developed world, but we are still fighting with it, because we love to feed Roti and tea to our children, which is not good at all,” he said, adding that young children should be given milk or citrate juices instead of The prevalence of kidney stones is increasing every day because the quality and quantity of food intake has changed with time, said Dr Manzoor Hussein, professor of Urology at the SIUT. “Low citrate and water intake, as well as exposure to high temperatures at work, can result in the development of stones in the kidney. My advice would be to drink as much water as you can throughout the day,” he said.
Dr Ather Hussein, a consultant nephrologist at the Aga Khan University Hospital (AKUD), shared a World Health Organisation (WHO) estimate, according to which, 175 million people worldwide had diabetes in 2003 — a figure which will double by 2030 and is a cause for concern for developing countries.
Dr Waqar Kashif, also a consultant nephrologist at the AKUH, discussed the relationship between high blood pressure and kidney disease. In 1994, the National Health Survey of Pakistan revealed that 18 per cent of people above the age of 15, and 33 per cent above 45, had high blood pressure; and less than three per cent of these were able to maintain normal blood pressure. “Currently in Pakistan, approximately one third of the patients on dialysis have kidney disease as a result of long-standing uncontrolled high blood pressure. Patients who have diabetes in addition to high blood pressure are at a higher risk of developing diabetic kidney disease,” he said.
The ideal blood pressure for people wishing to stay healthy should be less than 140/90; in people with kidney disease or diabetes, however, the blood pressure should be much lower, Dr Kashif said.