KARACHI- Special Assistant to Chief Minister Sindh for Human Rights & Special Education, Ms Rehana Laghari deplored that Sindh was being faced with acute health and hygiene related issues, and among others, one of those deemed critically important was the sale and purchase of smokeless tobacco (Gutka) in almost every pan shop, including street side vendors.
Despite serious health and safety warnings issued by the World Health Organization (WTO) against its consumption by people of all ages, especially children, no concrete measures seemed effective on ground for legally handling and banning the commercial and retail sale futka throughout the province.
This she said while presiding over a meeting regarding legislation bill to ban commercial and retail sale of gutka in Sindh at her office. The meeting was attended by Secretary Human Rights, Dr. Tanveer Ahmed Quraishi, Secretary Law, Iftikhar Shallwani, Secretary, Sindh Solid Waste Managment Board, Nadir Khan, Additional Secretary Food, Amjad Laghari, AIG Admin Sindh Police, Syed Asad Raza, and other stake holders.
Rehana informed that consumption of gutka is strongly linked with mouth, tongue, oesophageal carcinomas. This menace is increasingly responsible for not only the burden of disease but also quadrupled the government’s healthcare expenditure. Moreover, it is escalating on a yearly basis, leading to loss of countless lives owing to its consumption.
She opined that it was a prime time that all the offenders be brought to the book and strictly punished under the subject law (if any such statute exists) or to fill in the gaps in case of any legal lacunae. “All legal nuances have to be cemented to ensure outright ban on the commercial production, distribution, sale and transport, including retail selling of this misplaced consumable hazardous substance.”
She asked all the participants to come up with the recommendations in the next meeting so the points may be included and help in formation the new bill. This meeting was meant to overview current situation prevailing due to gutka and laws if exists.