It is not known why the plastic ban in Islamabad could not be implemented in Rawalpindi as well. While a lot of Rawalpindi citizens appreciate the government’s initiative in the federal capital, they also demand a similar initiative in the city.
In search of these answers, the Rawalpindi hub of the Global Shapers Community talked to Deputy Commissioner Officer (DCO) Rawalpindi, Saifullah Dogar.
According to Saifullah, the power to impose such a ban falls with the provincial government, unlike Islamabad.
Commending the DCO Islamabad, Hamza Shafqaat’s efforts to effectively enforce the ban, Dogar said it was possible because the Capital Police falls under his jurisdiction and so he could cope with the resistance easily.
The reason DCO Islamabad could do it is that he has the power under section 144, he said.
“Under the constitutional provision, all the powers in the federal capital lie with DCO, even the police. However, DCOs in Punjab and the rest of the country come under chief ministers,” he explained, adding that taking any such initiative was out of his authority.
“Also, there was a political will as the Climate Change Ministry was also actively involved in the process.”
He maintained that taking such a unilateral step in Rawalpindi was not possible because the decision will have to come from Chief Minister Usman Buzdar, and will be implemented equally across the province.
However, he pledged that as soon as it was made possible, Rawalpindi would also become a plastic-free city.
DCO Rawalpindi urged the citizens to change their lifestyle and reduce the use of plastic bags for a clean and green Pakistan. He also pledged to effectively enforce the city-wide ban on plastic as soon as the government issued orders in this regard.