MUZAFFARABAD: Civil society in the Azad Jammu and Kashmir (AJK) capital has heaped praise on the civic authorities for taking the much needed action shortly after a go-ahead from the region’s apex court against dairy outlets selling adulterated milk since long.

Early this month, during the hearing of a petition filed by Shahid Zaman Awan, a civil society activist heading a consumer rights group, the AJK Supreme Court had given one month to the Municipal Corporation Muzaffarabad (MCM) to take action against shops selling adulterated milk.

Some of the shops were selling milk that would be brought in tanks from outside the AJK territory.

After the apex court order, MCM magistrate Sardar Imran had collected samples from 10 suspicious dairy shops in different city neighbourhoods.

The samples were dispatched to Pakistan Council of Scientific and Industrial Research Complex Lahore for examination and the report received through courier service on Thursday established that the milk was unsafe for human health.

The envelope carrying the report was opened by deputy commissioner Nadeem Ahmed Janjua, who also holds the additional charge of administrator MCM, in the presence of civil society activists, following which all shops were sealed by the magistrate and other officials concerned on his instructions.

One of the sealed shops was reportedly run by Prime Minister Abdul Qayyum Niazi’s brother.

The move, publicised on social media for the information of the general public, drew wide appreciation from the residents.

“Thank God, they [authorities] took the much-needed action. We salute them for exposing these shops which were selling poison in the name of milk,” said Raja Shakil, a resident of Madina Market who regularly sensitises both the citizens and the official machinery on issues of public interest.

“A very good step indeed for which both the judiciary and civic authorities deserve our appreciation. But we look forward to consistency because people involved in the synthetic milk trade are well connected,” said Faiza Gillani, another civil society activist.

Netizens demanded severe punishment to what they called unscrupulous elements involved in the illicit trade.

However, in response to a question, MCM chief officer Anjum Bilal told Dawn that no arrest had been made because people found at the [sealed] shops were employees and not the owners.

“We are mulling over strict penalties to prevent people from doing such an illicit business,” he said.

Published in Dawn, December 26th, 2021

Opinion

Editorial

23 May, 2022

Defection rulings

By setting aside the existing law to prescribe their own solutions, the institutions haven't really solved the crisis at hand.
23 May, 2022

Spirit of the law

WOMEN’S right to inheritance is often galling for their male relatives in our patriarchal society. However, with...
23 May, 2022

Blaming others

BLAMING the nebulous ‘foreign hand’ for creating trouble within our borders is an age-old method used by the...
Updated 22 May, 2022

Back in the game?

WITH the new government struggling to make crucial decisions independently, Pakistan’s ‘parallel governance...
22 May, 2022

Currency concerns

IN the midst of the power struggle in the country, the rupee slid past 200 to a dollar in the interbank market last...
Updated 22 May, 2022

Shireen Mazari’s arrest

Abuse of power can never be condoned, regardless of who it targets or from where it emanates.