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November 10, 2018
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Opposition MPA asks Sindh govt to take over Children Hospital, make it fully functional

Karachi

November 10, 2018

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The issue of partially non-functional Sindh Government Children Hospital in the North Nazimabad area of Karachi echoed in a session of the provincial assembly on Friday as an opposition legislator urged the government to take back the administration of the hospital to fully revive its functioning.

The issue was raised by Muttahida Qaumi Movement-Pakistan legislator Khawaja Izharul Hassan on a point of order.

Hassan, who is also a former leader of opposition, urged the government to take over the administration of the hospital if the NGO concerned entrusted with running the facility could not fulfil its obligations at all.

He said the issue had been persisting for the last several weeks as the NGO to which charge of the hospital had been given by the government under the public-private partnership mode could not run the health facility.

The MQM-P lawmaker called upon the chief minister to rescind the agreement with the NGO because it could not fulfil its contractual obligations owing to financial issues and audit objections.

Responding to the point raised by the opposition lawmaker, Local Government Minister Saeed Ghani assured the house that the government had been trying its best to resolve the issue so as to fully revive its services at the earliest. He said no government would desire that such a vital health facility of it be shut down in such circumstances.

First privilege motion

The first privilege motion of the new house that came into existence as the result of the July 25 general elections was moved by two female opposition lawmakers. The privilege motion was moved by MPAs Dr Seema Zia and Adeeba Hassan of the Pakistan Tehreek-e-Insaf regarding what they called “the unreasonable attitude they had to undergo at the hands of staffers and administration officials” of the National Institute of Cardiovascular Diseases in Karachi when both had visited the hospital the previous day to inquire about the well-being of patients there.

Speaking on her privileged motion, Dr Zia said their identity cards as being members of the house were confiscated by the chief security officer of the NICVD during their visit, and the attitude of the hospital official with them was also contemptuous. She said a committee comprising members of the house should be constituted to probe the matter.

Parliamentary Affairs Minister Mukesh Kumar Chawla said that the management of the NICVD should have been informed in advance about the expected visit by the two members. He said he had come to the know that the opposition lawmakers had used their cellular phone sets to take pictures inside the premises of the NICVD, which was also against the rules and regulations of the hospital facility. He opposed the privilege motion while terming it against the rules of procedure of the assembly. Later, the two complaining lawmakers decided not to press on their motion when Health Minister Dr Azra Fazal Pechuho assured the house of an investigation into the incident.

Transport projects

The opposition leader in the house belonging to the PTI, Firdous Shamim Naqvi, said that all the projects proposed by the Department of Transport and Mass Transit in Karachi were incomplete as none of them were getting completed in time.

These projects included work being carried out in the city on different sections of Bus Rapid Transit Service in Karachi. The opposition leader raised the issue as the previous day he had visited the offices of the Transport and Mass Transit Department and got a briefing on the ongoing and new projects being built by the department in the city.

He said the state of the projects was quite alarming, and the opposition in the house was under a solemn obligation to raise its voice on issues concerning transport facilities for the people of Karachi as they continued to suffer heavily due to the lack of a mass transit system.

Earlier, the issue was raised in the house by Transport Minister Syed Awais Qaider Shah saying that the previous day the opposition leader had visited the Sindh Secretariat without any prior intimation and also behaved with staffers and officials of the Sindh Mass Transit Authority in an improper manner.

He said the opposition leader should go through rules and regulations of the house and should inform in advance the officials concerned in case he was planning to visit any government office.

Meanwhile, the house adopted two resolutions unanimously as both were moved in the house by Prisons Minister Syed Nasir Hussain Shah. One resolution was meant to pay tribute to national poet Allama Mohammad Iqbal on his birthday, and the other gave authority to the federal government to adopt a new piece of legislation concerning the committee.

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