media freedom

Government put on notice in missing journalist’s case

Karachi: The Sindh High Court took notice on Saturday of a journalist’s disappearance and issued notices to the interior secretary, the home secretary and federal and provincial law officers to file comments on his whereabouts.

Sania Faizullah, wife of Karachi-based journalist Faizullah Khan, had filed an application with the court about her husband who had gone missing from the tribal areas in the north on April 22.

She submitted that her spouse, a senior reporter working with a private TV channel, went to the tribal areas for a professional assignment but did not return.

Sania said she was told by the TV channel’s administration that her husband had been detained by the Afghan intelligence agencies.

She prayed to the court to order the federal government to take efforts for his return.

SHC Chief Justice Maqbool Baqar after converting the application into a petition issued the notices.

Funds for opposition MPAs

In another case, the high court restrained the provincial planning and development department from handing over the development funds allocated for the opposition party MPAs to anyone else till further orders.

The directives came on a petition filed by 11 MPAs of the Pakistan Muslim League-Functional including Shaharyar Khan Mahar and Mohammad Rashid Shah against the non-allocation of development funds to them despite administrative approval.

The petitioners submitted that the provincial government had approved the annual development programme with an allocation of priority development funds to the tune of Rs8.6 billion and Rs40 million funds were to be distributed to each MPA for their respective constituency.

They submitted that the respondent had issued administrative approval for the several areas including petitioners’ constituencies but the allocated funds were not being distributed to them.

An SHC division bench headed by Chief Justice Maqbool Baqar after the preliminary hearing of the petition issued notices to the provincial law officer and the finance and planning and development secretaries for June 6.

Substandard edibles: The high court directed the chief secretary, the Pakistan Standards and Quality Control Authority, the health secretary, the food secretary and others on a petition against the sale of substandard food items and beverages throughout the province.

Petitioner Rana Faizul Hasan submitted that substandard food items including ghee, edible oil, soft drinks and mineral water were being sold in the market without any monitoring by the authorities concerned.

He submitted that more than 250,000 shops of food items were operating in the city without any food licenc. Only 2,500 outlets were registered by the food department of the Karachi Metropolitan Corporation.

He also submitted that besides edible items, substandard cosmetic products were also being sold in the markets that carried no details of the manufacturing or expiry dates of the products.

Unregistered vehicles

The high court directed the provincial authorities to submit a comprehensive report on the particulars and usage details of official vehicles.

Petitioners Naeem Sadiq, Nazim F Haji and others submitted that unregistered and private vehicles with fancy number plates were plying in the city without any action by the traffic police or the excise department. They said over 6,000 official vehicles in the field were not registered with the excise and taxation department while thousands of private vehicles were plying the roads without any registration in violation of the traffic laws.

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