KARACHI: The Sindh Assembly unanimously passed a resolution on Monday to award an honorary MBBS degree to the medical student, Nimrah Baig, who was killed in crossfire between police and robbers on February 22. The resolution was jointly moved by Wasim Qureshi and Muhammad Hussain of Muttahida Qaumi Movement-Pakistan (MQM-P) and Heer Ismail Sohu of Pakistan Peoples Party (PPP).
Qureshi, who belongs to the constituency where this incident happened, said, “Nimrah’s father, a police official, died ten years ago and her mother raised her, and provided for her. She got admission in Dow University of Health Sciences purely on merit. The family members wanted to see her as a doctor but the unfortunate incident shattered their dreams. So, I request the Sindh government to provide an honorary MBBS degree to the deceased and offer financial assistance to the grieving family,” he said.
Hussain, quoting 10-year-old Amal Umer’s incident who was also killed by a bullet fired by the police in August last year, said, “At that time, the Sindh government had promised to bring reforms. I want to know why such incidents happen again and again.” He blamed the police for shooting the girl and said, “This reveals the shortcomings in police training. Why did the police open fire amid dozens of vehicles and people in the area?” He demanded compensation for the family of the deceased and immediate arrest of cops.
Sohu commended the murder, but also lauded the performance of police in dealing with the law and order situation in Karachi and other districts of Sindh. “Whoever is responsible should be punished. Government should be doing it, but unfortunately some members are engaged in politics over the murder of the innocent girl,” she said.
Khawaja Izharul Hasan of MQM-P demanded a commission to probe the incident and said, “The commission should determine whether the girl was killed by the bullet of police or robbers. In both the cases, the responsibility lies with the provincial government.”
Leader of the Opposition in Sindh Assembly, Firdous Shamim Naqvi, acknowledged the poor performance of the police all over Pakistan with the ‘Thana culture’, but differentiated Karachi with other places given its importance. “I demand the recruitment of local police in the city, who can better understand the areas,” he said adding that there is dire need for police reforms. “Instead of giving protection, cops create fear among citizens. This must be condemned and stopped.”
MPAs Marvi Faseeh, Haleem Adil Shaikh and Sindh Local Government Minister Saeed Ghani condemned the incident in the assembly. Ghani said that he had also visited the family and government would do its utmost to help and provide justice to the victim family. “Sindh government has nothing to do with the appointment of cops. A committee formed in the light of apex committee decision deals with appointing candidates purely on merit,” he said. “I will approach Dow University to award an honorary degree to Nimrah and government will help the family too,” he added.
Published in The Express Tribune, February 26th, 2019.