PU harassment case | Study on smoking sheesha

PUASA divided over harassment case
Lahore, Nov 15: The Punjab University Academic Staff Association (PUASA) seems to have divided over alleged sexual harassment case involving a senior faculty member.

The split is evident from two press statements issued separately by PUASA President and Secretary on Saturday.

PUASA President Dr Mahr Saeed Akhtar claimed that the association's executive council had demanded the varsity's authorities play its role in ending Punjab University's media trial in the said alleged harassment case, as the varsity's Public Relations Department had failed to do so.

He also said the meeting had demanded immediate judicial inquiry into the alleged incident.

However, the PUASA President's statement was contested by association's Secretary Javed Sami in a letter addressed to him. A copy of the letter was forwarded to the media by the PU's Public Relations Department.

In the letter, the PUASA Secretary, who is also PU's Resident Officer (RO-I), said the meeting did not term it failure of varsity's PR Department to stop the media trial. He said print and electronic media was independent and the same could not be stopped from reporting any incident.

He further said the meeting did not demand judicial inquiry of the alleged incident, as a department inquiry was already under process and its findings were expected in a couple of days.

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HEC best teacher award for PU prof
Lahore: The Higher Education Commission (HEC) has conferred the Best University Teacher Award for the year 2009 on Punjab University's Faculty of Education Dean Prof Dr Hafiz Muhammad Iqbal in recognition of his contribution and performance in the field of education and research.

According to a press statement, the award consisting of a certificate and cash prize of Rs 100,000 would be given Dr Hafiz Muhammad Iqbal in a ceremony to be held on December 1, 2010. Prof Dr Hafiz Muhammad Iqbal has published more than 50 articles/papers in journals of international repute and has over 30 years of varsity teaching experience to his credit for promoting the cause of education in the country. In acknowledgement of his outstanding contribution, the Government of Pakistan also awarded him a civil award "Izaz-e-Fazeelat" in 2007.

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PU Pro VC off to Japan
Lahore: Punjab University Pro Vice Chancellor Prof Dr Jamil Anwar Chaudhry has left for Japan to represent Pakistan in the 3rd International Conference on Ceramics to be held in Osaka from November 14 to 18, 2010. According to a press statement, he has been invited as a speaker to present his paper on Nov 16. The news

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Study shows 'dark side' of sheesha
Lahore: A study carried out by medical experts and students of the Allama Iqbal Medical College claims that mushrooming sheesha (aromatic smoking) outlets in the city pose a serious threat to the health of teenagers, especially the girls.

"This habit was found to be most prevalent in the 16-25 years age group with 70 per cent sheesha smokers being male and 30 per cent female," the study says.

It also apprehends use of prohibited and addictive substances in more than 30 per cent of the sheesha outlets, either by the owners or youngsters themselves.

The study says the sheesha smoking may result in low fertility rates among girls and increase the chances of fetal abnormalities (Teratogenesis), posing a major threat to their health.

"One puff of the sheesha smoke contains more than 5,000 active chemicals out of which at least more than 100 are carcinogenic and more than 25 per cent have serious addictive potential", the study claims.

Most of the tobacco and sheesha wholesalers have their outlets around the Qadhafi Stadium.

The sheesha smoking is going on unchecked in some local parks as their managements were reportedly encouraging it in open spaces, the study says.

It mentions one such park located near Kalma Chowk where teenaged boys and girls regularly indulge in sheesha smoking. The park, with the permission of Parks and Horticulture Authority (PHA), offers three open sheesha bars which attract many a visitor to the activity, the study adds.

It says sheesha smoking is associated with heart disease, stroke, muscle and joints ailments, headache, and may also lead to cancers of lips, tongue, mouth, lungs, stomach etc.

It is apprehended that addictive drugs like cocaine, marijuana and heroine are being added to the flavoured tobacco either by the managements of these outlets or by the customers themselves.

The researchers claim to have surveyed as many as 100 sheesha outlets located in various areas of the city to compile the data.

The study claims the business which was initially confined to posh city areas was now taking roots in the low-income localities as well. The researchers, in this connection, have mentioned that many sheesha outlets have sprung up even in the streets of the Walled city.

It is learnt the issue was also discussed at length in a joint meeting between AIMC people and Anti Narcotics Force (ANF) Punjab officers on Friday where the participants showed serious concern over these mushrooming outlets.

The principal author of the study and AIMC Principal Prof Javed Akram and ANF Punjab Joint Director Lt Col Chaudhry Iftikhar Ali also attended the meeting which decided to first launch an awareness campaign about the hazardous effects of sheesha smoking on youths' health. Legal action against such outlets was also considered as a later course.

Prof Javed Akram said the study was also being published in some research journals of Europe. He said besides posing a serious threat to teenagers' mental and physical health the sheesha smoke also affected those sitting in the vicinity of the smokers, which is called second-hand or passive smoking.

"I think sheesha smoking may become a major public health challenge in near future as more and more teenagers are indulging in it," he said and stressed the need for legislation on the issue, besides registration of these outlets with the regulating agencies.

He said the areas of Defence, Allama Iqbal Town, Gulberg, Cantonment Board, besides some elite hotels and restaurants, were hotbeds of the unhealthy activity.

He urged the ANF to randomly examine the sheesha outlets to check the use of drugs with addictive potential. Dawn

Your Comments
"I didnt agree with this statement that sheesha smoking causes lung cancer other other diesease mentioned above.because i havent heard or seen any patients in hospital,but the issue of sheehsa smoking is not big,the cheif Minister should take an action other areas which are more important.(Alcohol and drugs)There should be age limit for smoking sheesha.If he government is making legislation they should consider the age limit not completly banning the sheesha.if they ban the sheesha smoking all the sheesha smokers will automatically will start smoking cigrette which is more dangerous.But i agree to some extnet that there should be checks and balances on the sheesha lounges ."
Name: Furqan
Email: furqanamjadsheikh@gmail.com
City, Country:Lahore,Pakistan

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Undergraduate medical college at LGH soon'
Lahore: Parliamentary Secretary of Health Dr Saeed Elahi has said that the recommendations for setting up of the undergraduate medical college and nursing and paramedic institute in Lahore General Hospital (LGH) will soon be sent to the Punjab chief minister.

He said that it will greatly help make the LGH a world standard hospital.

Dr Saeed Elahi said this after inaugurating a free medical camp and an awareness walk on the World Diabetes Day at the LGH, according to a handout here on Saturday. He appreciated the efforts of Prof Tariq Salahudin for equipping the Post Graduate Medical Institute/LGH with modern facilities. Dr Saeed Elahi urged the media to play due role in creating awareness among the masses regarding diseases.

On the occasion, Principal Prof Tariq Salahudin informed that the doctors from the PGMI were serving the ailing humanity not only in Pakistan but also in other countries as well. He said that a state-of-the-art diabetic centre had been established in the hospital where all diagnostic and treatment facilities had been provided.

King Edward Medical University former Vice Chancellor Dr Mumtaz Hassan said the PGMI had a historical background in medical education which rendered tremendous services in this regard.

Prof Ghias-un-Nabi Tayyab, Dr Imran Hassan Khan and other medial specialists also addressed the event and briefed the participants on the complications of diabetes. They said that diabetics should adopt the habit of daily walk and exercise at morning and evening times for their health. They said, "If we adopt practically the slogan of prevention is better than cure, we could live healthy life and save our budget spending on medical treatment."

About 1,000 sugar tests have been conducted and free medicines also provided to the patients at the free diabetes medical camp. LGH MS Dr SD Khan, faculty members, doctors, nurses and paramedical staff were also present on the occasion.

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Science Museum Day
Lahore: Science Museum Day was celebrated at Kids Galaxy School here the other day. The school children set up different stalls related to Science while Maj (r) Farooq Haris was the Chief Guest on this occasion.

Addressing the children, Maj (r) Farooq Haris said that informal education is also as important as formal education. He said that Bangladesh has good education system if compared with Pakistan because they had focused on education. Chaudhry Iftikhar said the children in Pakistan had great talent and they should just be provided opportunities. School Principal Ayesha urged the government to focus of education syllabus. The nation

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