LAHORE: The Supreme Court on Thursday decided to form a monitoring commission headed by the district and sessions judge of Tharparkar to examine periodically initiatives being taken by the provincial government of Sindh for health, education and provision of food to the residents of the district.
A three-judge bench headed by Chief Justice of Pakistan Mian Saqib Nisar was hearing a suo motu notice case pertaining the deaths of infants due to diseases and malnutrition in Tharparkar.
Advocate Faisal Siddiqui, who represented civil society and also assisted the court as amicus curiae, told the court that a report filed by the sessions judge was an eye-opener.
The CJP observed that he was well aware of the situation since he had personally visited the district.
“People complained to me about non-provision of food by the government,” he said and added that the school for girls in Diplo area had no washrooms. The CJP also recalled that hospitals in Mithi area were without doctors and equipment.
Advocate General for Sindh Salman Talibuddin said the government had initiated a programme to provide pregnant women free-of-cost food. He said the government had announced incentives for doctors to work in Tharparkar. However, he said the response from the doctors was not welcoming. He said accommodation facilities for doctors were also being established in the district.
However, Advocate Siddiqui pointed out that the sessions judge in his report stated that only women with influential men had been given food. The advocate general admitted that the judge’s report was correct. He said doctors posted in government hospitals of Thar had indulged in private practice in violation of the law.
The counsel told the court that the matter regarding the establishment of the Thar development authority had been pending before the provincial government for two years.
At this, the CJP directed the Sindh advocate general to place the matter before the provincial cabinet. The law officer said the matter had already been taken up with the Sindh chief minister.
CJP Nisar adjourned the hearing and observed that composition of the monitoring commission would be disclosed in the written order.
Published in Dawn, December 28th, 2018
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