CJP Saqib Nisar summons former CMs over provincial woes

Doctors of government hospitals call off strike on CJP’s assurance that their issues will be resolved within four days

Mohammad Zafar April 09, 2018
Chief Justice of Pakistan Mian Saqib Nisar along with Chief Minister Abdul Quddus Bizenjo visiting different departments of Civil Hospital, Quetta. PHOTO: EXPRESS


Chief Justice of Pakistan Mian Saqib Nisar has summoned former Balochistan chief ministers Dr Abdul Malik Baloch and Sanaullah Zehri on Tuesday (today) to explain what they did for resolving the major issues making the lives of the people of the province miserable during their tenures.

A three-member bench, headed by the CJP himself, was hearing a suo motu case regarding the plight of health care, education and clean water at Supreme Court’s Quetta Registry on Monday.

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Balochistan Chief Minister Abdul Quddus Bizenjo flanked by Minister for Health Abdul Majid Abro reached the apex court following the hearing.

During the hearing, Education Secretary Noor-ul-Haq Baloch apprised the court that around one million children were out of school in Balochistan, while around 2.6 million children were being enrolled in government schools.

“Under Article 25A of the Constitution, education is the right of every child, but one million children are out of school only in Balochistan. Is there any policy to educate the out-of-school children,” the CJP inquired from the education secretary.

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CJP Nisar remarked that education, basic health care and clean water should be accessible to all citizens of Pakistan. “According to Articles 184 and 199 of the Constitution, we can intervene when basic human rights are being violated,” he added.

The bench inquired from the provincial government regarding the rapid decrease in water level in Quetta and the measures it had taken for resolving the alarming issue.

The Balochistan chief minister apprised the court that they had been taking measures to restore the water level.

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He said, “We are making all-out efforts to provide relief to the people of Balochistan. We have just formed our government here and despite the shortage of time we are determined to do our best.”

Informing the court regarding lack of resources, Bizenjo said, “Despite being the largest province of the country in terms of land, Balochistan has the minimum budget as compared with that of the other three provinces.”

CJP Nisar inquired, “Why is Balochistan being neglected by the federal government despite having immense natural resources?”

He remarked, “The Supreme Court is ready to help the province if it has financial rifts with the Centre. We resolved the water issue in Karachi when the Sindh government was facing financial issues with the federal government.”

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After the hearing, the CJP visited the Civil Hospital, Quetta and interacted with patients and their attendants. Chief Minister Bizenjo and health minister Abro accompanied the CJP.

The CJP ordered authorities to listen to the demands of the protesting Young Doctors Association (YDA) and the Paramedical Association and report to him which doctors called for a strike and boycotted all outdoor patient departments of government hospitals of the province.

After being apprised about the lack of basic health care facilities at government hospitals, the CJP assured the protesting doctors that their demands would be met.

On the assurance of the CJP, YDA President Yasir Khosti called off the strike during a press conference. “The CJP has assured us that the provincial government will resolve all issues within four days,” said the YDA president.

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During the visit to various departments of the civil hospital, including the trauma centre, Justice Nisar showed indignation over lack of cleanliness in the gynaecology ward and ordered strict action against the staff concerned showing negligence.

The SC three-member bench will continue the hearing till Wednesday at the SC’s Quetta Registry at the Balochistan High Court.

Separately, a delegation of the Hazara community called on CJP Nisar. The delegation apprised the chief justice of their issues. The CJP assured them to resolve their issues in accordance with the law. (Additional Input from APP)

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