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January 19, 2018

Sindh MPs demand judicial investigation into killing of Naqeeb Mehsud, Mardan girl

Karachi

January 19, 2018

Demands for a probe into the extrajudicial killing of Naqeeb Mehsud, a 26-year-old from Waziristan, who was declared a terrorist by police and killed in a shootout on January 12, were raised in the Sindh Assembly on Thursday as lawmakers called for action.

Taking the house floor, Pakistan Tehreek-e-Insaf MPA Khurram Sher Zaman said Karachi’s youngsters are being picked up from their homes and being killed in cold blood in “fake encounters by the so-called encounter specialist”.

He was referring to Malir SSP Rao Anwar who led the January 12 shoot-out. “I demand of the government to initiate a judicial inquiry into the extrajudicial murder of Naqeeb Mehsud and SSP Rao Anwar should be suspended till the inquiry is complete,” he said.

The MPA submitted a resolution demanding the formation of a judicial commission to investigate Naqeeb’s extrajudicial murder as well as several other such killings by SSP Anwar.

He also called on the Chief Justice of Pakistan to take suo motu notice of the murder by the infamous police officer and bring an end to injustices with the people of Karachi. Deputy Speaker Shehla Raza said that the provincial home minister was not present in the house to comment on the matter but added that he had already ordered a high-level inquiry.

Mardan girl’s murder

The Sindh Assembly also unanimously passed a resolution condemning the brutal rape and murder of a four-year-old girl in Mardan and demanded that the Khyber Pakhtunkhwa government arrest the culprit and give him exemplary punishment.

The resolution was jointly presented by PPP MPA Saira Shahliani and MQM lawmaker Heer Ismail Soho. MQM MPA Rauf Siddiqui and the health minister made sentimental speeches while discussing the issue and said not even animals do such brutalities with their or others’ children.

Separately, Minister for Health Dr Sikandar Mandhro told lawmakers that the H1N1 virus, also known as swine flu, was not a lethal disease and urged citizens to not be scared of it saying that its mortality rate is only one in 1,000.

He added that Sindh health department was fully alert and capable of dealing with its outbreak in the province.

Responding to different questions raised by opposition MPAs, Mandhro said dengue fever resulted in some deaths in 2016 and 2017 but now the government has established isolation wards and every district hospital has four beds for dengue patients.

“Health department has taken emergency measures to control the spread of dengue. We are carrying out fumigation in the province while required medicines are also available,” he said. To a query, he admitted that there was no lab to diagnose rabies or detect snake venom in a person’s body in Karachi but added that there was a Anti-Snake Venom/Anti-Rabies Serology Lab working on Sakrand Road, Shaheed Benazirabad where anti-snake venom vaccine was also being prepared.

Khurram Sher Zaman of PTI said there were more than 70,000 stray dogs roaming the streets of Karachi, which had become a serious public health issue. He added that except for Jinnah Postgraduate Medical Center, no other hospital was vaccinating people attacked by stray dogs.

Mandhro conceded that the population of stray dogs had increased manifold and needs to be controlled, but claimed that all major hospitals in Sindh were giving vaccines to dog bite victims.

Responding to the reported pathetic situation of Karachi Police Hospital, Mandhro said that the hospital was being managed by Sindh police but added that the health department was cooperating with it to overcome issues it is facing.

In response to another query, the health minister said the government has planned to install 750 Reverse Osmosis (RO) plants in Tharparkar, of which 458 are already functional while remaining plants would be made functional by the end of May.

Civic issues

On a point of order, Muttahida Qaumi Movement lawmaker Kamran Akhtar said that in his constituency Baldia Town, gutters were overflowing in every nook and corner but Karachi Water and Sewerage Board (KWSB) staff pays no heed to this issue and don’t listen to the complaints of area residents. “KWSB staff is plundering money in the garb of cleaning and replacing sewerage lines,” Akhtar said, adding the rusty, worn-out lines in Baldia Town are in urgent need of replacement.

Local bodies minister Jam Khan Shoro responded that the provincial government had initiated a study with support from World Bank for the replacement of sewerage lines in Karachi and added that after its completion, sewerage lines would be replaced in phases in the entire city.