Forensic lab shut for want of funds

Officials say Sindh govt not making payments for the last two years


Our Correspondent May 26, 2021

KARACHI:

The DNA testing laboratory at the University of Karachi (KU) has been shut for want of funds, it emerged on Tuesday.

The provincial government has yet to release Rs100 million of unpaid dues for the last two years, alleged KU officials.

The closure of the lab has affected investigation of numerous criminal cases, they told The Express Tribune. A notice issued by the Sindh Forensic, DNA and Serology Laboratory In-Charge Dr Ishtiaq Ahmed was pasted on the door of the lab.

Dr Ahmed said they stopped work at the lab on the orders of the International Centre for Chemical and Biological Sciences (ICCBS) director. The testing process has been temporarily suspended due to non-availability of funds which will be resumed after release of finances, he said.

The laboratory, which helps investigation murder, rape and other heinous crimes, was set up at the Karachi University by the Sindh government. It has been temporarily closed, said ICCBS Director Iqbal Chaudhry.

"This lab belongs to Sindh government and it has to bankroll it, once they release the funds, we will start working again," he said.

As for now, the laboratory has stopped receiving samples for tests. "We cannot work without cash, the Sindh government has not paid us for the last two years, so we decided to close the lab," Iqbal said.

Published in The Express Tribune, May 26th, 2021.

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