Organ Transplant: Actions speak louder than words

Two persons from Oman brought their mother to Pakistan for illegal kidney transplantation. She died during operation.

Abdul Manan November 15, 2010

Although the Punjab government makes tall claims of its good governance and rule of law, two recent incidents prove otherwise.

The Human Organ Tissue Transplant Act (HOTTA), a law that specifically deals with illegal kidney transplantation, could have been used last month against two culprits to set a precedent.

Two persons from Oman had brought their mother to Pakistan for illegal kidney transplantation, but the operation proved to be unsuccessful, resulting in her death.

The sons, through influence in the Punjab government, managed to be protected from the HOTTA which clearly states that both donors and receivers of organs should be booked.

Since the promulgation of the act three years ago, not even one FIR has been lodged under the law throughout Pakistan. If the Punjab government exercised HOTTA in the Omanis’ case, it could have set an example and a positive perception of Pakistan in the eyes of the international community.

However, their action to let the culprits walk free will further encourage the influx of foreigners to come to Pakistan to practice the illegal act (and that as well against Rs2.5 million).

In another incident which took place six months ago, a female student was sexually harassed by her Principal at the Punjab University College of Earth and Environmental, but was unaware about the process of registering a complaint. The police finally registered her case last week under various traditional sections of Pakistan Penal Code (PPC). Although Protection against Harassment of Women at the Workplace Bill was passed as a law in March 2010, the Punjab government has neither implemented it in any department nor issued any directions in this regard. It has also failed to formulate any cell specifically for the protection of women, such as a dengue cell, child protection cell, CM’s complaint cell and so on to get immediate action.

So, taking into account these two incidents – out of thousands that probably don’t even get reported – the Punjab government needs to step up on its promises and follow the rule of law. After all actions speak louder than words, or in this case louder than what is written down on paper and passed by the assembly.

Abdul Manan
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