SC forms commission, seeks report on malnutrition, water crisis in Thar

Published: November 7, 2018
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Representational image of a malnutrition-ed child. PHOTO: REUTERS

Representational image of a malnutrition-ed child. PHOTO: REUTERS

ISLAMABAD: The Supreme Court on Wednesday constituted a commission under district and sessions court judge and sought a detailed report on malnutrition, water and other issues in Thar.

A two-member bench headed by Justice Ijazul Ahsan and Justice Sajjad Ali Shah resumed hearing of a case pertaining to infant mortality in Sindh’s underprivileged region. Sindh advocate general presented a report outlining measures taken by the provincial government to combat malnutrition and diseases in Thar.

He informed the apex court that the Pakistan Peoples Party (PPP) government had offered special incentives to doctor in a bid to encourage them to transfer to Thar. “We have given additional packages worth Rs150,000 to Rs250,000,” he said.

SC questions PPP-led govt over situation in Thar

The Sindh government’s steps, however, failed to sway the top court. “Under which law is the provincial government allotting such huge amount? Is the government releasing a special budget?” inquired Justice Shah.

“Sindh government has issued a notification,” informed provincial secretary finance.

The bench sought details of doctors who had accepted and those who had denied positions in Thar. “When an employee refuses to work they are fired,” remarked Justice Shah.

The advocate general asserted that extending privileges had changed the situation. When the SC sought a detailed report on the transfer of medical professionals to Thar, the advocate general sought two-three days to submit reply.

Government forms committee on Thar

The bench also ordered formation of a commission to be headed by district and session courts judge to review malnutrition, water and other issues in the region and submit a report within 15 days.

SC amicus curiae Faisal Siddiqui quipped that the Sindh government has presented five different reports outlining its performance in Thar in the last five years.

Justice Shah recalled that the apex court had constituted a Sindh-government-approved committee in 2016 to review the situation but the team had not delivered results.

The court adjourned hearing till next week.

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