KARACHI: The funeral prayers and burial of Usman, 11, who drowned in the swimming pool of Habib Public School, were held on Wednesday in Gulistan-e-Jauhar after Zuhr prayers. Besides family and friends, some politicians also attended the funeral prayers.
The deceased child’s father, Zeeshan Durrani, lamented that the Supreme Court had ordered that CCTV cameras be installed in all schools after the attack on Army Public School in Peshawar but the schools did not comply with judicial orders. He asked the Sindh governor and chief minister to provide justice by taking action against the school. He said his son was studying in a well organised and reputable school. “The school offers swimming classes and the incident took place due to the instructor’s negligence,” he said while appealing to the authorities that action be taken against the school so other innocent children don’t meet such accidents.
Meanwhile, Pakistan Tehreek-e-Insaf (PTI) leaders Khurram Sher Zaman, Bilal Ghaffar and Shehzad Qureshi availed the tragic incident to raise further questions. Speaking to the media, Zaman said that many children were dying due to electrocution. “The swimming instructor of the school thought that Usman was pretending to drown,” he said, while adding that many deaths were being reported due to other reasons and were examples of criminal negligence. “We have assured the parents that we will ensure justice for Usman,” said Zaman. He appealed to the education minister to take action against the school’s administration. “PTI will provide every type of help to the affected family. PTI representatives are standing by them,” he said.
“My question is that the first and second statements given by the school administration contradict each other,” said Ghaffar. “High profile inquiry commission should be made. 20 deaths have occurred recently due to the negligence of agencies,” he said, adding that the instructor was not present when Usman was drowning.
Published in The Express Tribune, August 29th, 2019.