KARACHI: Sindh Chief Minister Syed Murad Ali Shah has claimed that the Sindh government has enacted “record-breaking human rights laws” to protect every segment of society, from domestic workers to street children and women.
“We are now focusing on the implementation of the laws that have not been enforced properly,” he maintained while talking to a delegation of a human rights watchdog led by United Nations Special Rapporteur on Human Rights Defenders on Tuesday.
The meeting was attended by Director Norwegian Human Rights Fund (HRF) Sandra Petersen, Project Coordinator Norwegian HRF Scott Mellsky Sandvik, Executive Director Pakistan Institute of Labour Education and Research (PILER) Karamat Ali, Mushtaq Lasharie, Zulfikar Shah of PILER, Anis Haroon, Ali Palh, Nasir Mansoor of Trade Union Federation, Naghma Iqtidar and Nazim haji of Safety Commission, were among others.
Meanwhile, the Chief Minister was assisted by Minister of Education and Labour Saeed Ghani, Advisor to the Chief Minister Murtaza Wahab, Special Assistant to the Chief Minister on Human Rights Virjee Kolhi, Principal Secretary to the Chief Minister Sajid Jamal Abro, Secretary Labour Rasheed Solangi, Secretary Human Right Department Badar Jameel Mendhro and others.
Shah maintained that only 23 years of Pakistan’s 73 years of existence had seen democratically-led governments, making the implementation of the principles of human rights an issue. He added that “the Pakistan Peoples Party (PPP)-led Sindh government has enacted over 16 human rights related laws following the implementation of the 18th Amendment.”
The CM said that three human rights related schemes have been included in the annual development plan and child marriage has also been banned under the provincial assembly law, adding that the provincial government was taking serious steps to enforce laws pertaining to women’s rights and children’s rights.
Allowances for physiotherapists
Separately, Shah granted Health Professional Allowance (HPA) to physiotherapists in a meeting at the CM House.
Attending the meeting were Chief Secretary Mumtaz Shah, Principal Secretary to the CM Sajid Jamal Abro, Secretary Health Zahid Abbasi and Additional Secretary Finance Nisar Shaikh, among others.
The Chief Minister was informed during the meeting that physiotherapists working in the Health Department were demanding Health Professional Allowance and Special Health Care Allowance (SHCA). However, Shah stated that the provincial government was already paying Rs43 billion in salaries every month. “Salary bills are increasing due to which, the development work is affected,” said Shah, adding that he would never honor any request when government employees opted to take to streets to protest.
However, after thorough discussion, Shah agreed to grant HPA and HCA to physiotherapists and said he would inspect their performance.
According to the health secretary, the total amount of the allowances would add up to Rs111,647 per officer, whereas Rs1,689,659 would have to be spent monthly on this account and Rs20,275,908 annually.
Published in The Express Tribune, February 12th, 2020.