Taking notice of threats by the banned Tehreek-e-Taliban Pakistan (TTP) to the University of Karachi (KU), Sindh lawmakers questioned the steps taken by the Sindh government to foil the terrorist's plot.
After the APS attack in Peshawar, militants have issued threats to educational institutions thereby creating fear among the students, teaching staff and others, can the education minister tell us about the security measures that being are taken, asked Muttahida Qaumi Movement (MQM) MPA Kamran Akhter. "More than 48,000 students are enrolled with 850 teachers and 450 employees working in various departments of KU. The militants have reportedly made their hideouts in the settlements around the university, which is highly vulnerable because the government has not yet taken satisfactory measures," he claimed.
"After the Safoora incident and its findings, we are really shocked to know about the teaching staff lured by militant organisations at various universities and colleges. What kind of action has the government taken to free our educational institutions from extremist mindset?" he questioned.
Senior minister for education and parliamentary affairs Nisar Ahmed Khuhro said that provincial government is taking extraordinary security measures to secure KU, which has 56 departments, spread over 1,300 acres. "We have given a Rs30 million grant to the university to raise its boundary walls, install walkthrough gates and CCTV cameras with monitoring systems," he said, adding that around 20 security guards are being hired and the university has also decided to appoint a retired army officer to head its security arrangements.
Resolution to fix price of petrol at Rs40
Condemning the federal government for reducing the petrol price only by Rs7, the Sindh Assembly unanimously adopted a resolution demanding the Sindh government approach the federal government to fix the price of petrol at Rs40 per litre and proportionally reduce the prices of all other petroleum products. The resolution was moved by Khuhro and the MQM's Muhammad Hussain.
"This assembly condemns the callous and inept attitude of the federal government, which has failed to transfer the real benefit of international petroleum prices decreasing to its citizens," said Khuhro, while reading the resolution.
"This price has been reduced in the international market from $120 per barrel to $35 a barrel but the government has only slashed Rs7, which is not acceptable," he remarked. Most of the MPAs belonging to treasury and opposition raised their hands to speak on this issue but the speaker did not allow a debate on it and adjourned the session till Tuesday.
Hepatitis control programme
Nusrat Seher Abbasi of Pakistan Muslim League - Functional discussed the hepatitis control programme, which according to her is in severe financial crises due to which thousands of patients are not being provided vaccinations and medicines. "This programme is run by the chief minister but many patients have not been vaccinated for the last seven months," she claimed, adding there are 24,000 registered hepatitis patients in Sindh whose lives are at risk due to government negligence.
Health minister Jam Mehtab Hussain Dahar refuted reports that the government had suspended the vaccination programme and said, "The vaccination process still continues without any hindrance".
Assembly leaves most of the agenda un-addressed
The Sindh Assembly left most of the agenda un-addressed due to the visit of a 20- member delegation of MPAs from the Punjab, Balochistan and Khyber Pakhtunkhwa assemblies. These lawmakers had come to share their experience with the Sindh MPAs on various issues pertaining to legislations. Opposition leader Khawaja Izharul Hasan and other MQM MPAs wanted to move their resolution on school security but speaker asked them to take it up on Wednesday.
Published in The Express Tribune, February 2nd, 2016.