Expressing condolences for the death of medical student Nimrah Baig during an incident of street crime in Karachi, the Sindh Assembly on Monday unanimously demanded that an honorary MBBS degree be awarded posthumously to the late final year student of the Dow University of Health Sciences.
The house unanimously passed a resolution to express its sorrow over the death of the MBBS final-year student in crossfire between police and robbers in North Karachi a few days ago when the police tried to arrest suspected robbers trying to flee after an attempted robbery.
The resolution states: “The innocent and peace-loving Nimrah Baig, who was the final-year student of MBBS, was martyred in the cross firing incident between police and robbers as along with Nimrah, her and her family’s golden dreams also died. This house is highly sorrowful over the martyrdom of Nimrah Baig and prayed for the eternal peace of the departed soul. This house also unanimously demands that the late brilliant student, who was a peace-loving citizen, who could not complete her education due to this tragedy, should be awarded honorary degree of MBBS posthumously.”
The resolution was tabled by two MPAs of the Muttahida Quami Movement-Pakistan, Waseem Qureshi and Muhammad Hussain Khan. A number of other legislators belonging to the opposition benches were also co-signatories of the resolution.
The resolution was unanimously passed as both the treasury and opposition legislators lent support to its passage. Speaking on the resolution, opposition lawmakers criticised the performance of police as it miserably lacked training and guidance to tackle incidents of armed robberies and snatchings in congested and densely populated areas.
According to the opposition legislators, owing to such sheer lack of training and negligence on the part of the police, innocent citizens in the city often fell victims to such incidents of crossfire between policemen and armed criminals. The newly recruited
policemen, especially those belonging to the elite and special forces, did not have the training and capacity to deal with such incidents, the MPAs claimed.
Khawaja Izharul Hassan of the MQM-P demanded that a high-level inquiry be instituted to investigate the incident of Nimrah’s killing so that it could be determined whose bullet proved fatal for the young medical university student.
Hassan warned that in case the Sindh government did not make any concrete move to investigate the incident, he along with the bereaved family, teachers and class fellows of the deceased student, and concerned residents of the area would approach the Sindh High Court to get justice for her.
The MQM-P legislator lamented that street crime had been on the rise in the area where Nimrah was killed. Residents of the area are frequently witnessing incidents of armed robberies and snatchings as the area police have completely failed to deal with the situation, he said.
Leader of the Opposition Firdous Shamim Naqvi, who belongs to the Pakistan Tehreek-e-Insaf, said the entire police force should not be blamed for such incidents as very daring and honest police officers were also performing their duties with the best of their abilities to protect the lives and belongings of the citizens.
Naqvi maintained that the culture of police force had deteriorated in the entire country as aggrieved citizens felt apprehensive while visiting police stations to get criminal cases registered.
The opposition leader suggested that either the police station, in the jurisdiction of which Nimrah was killed, or any road in her residential area should be named after her to make her sacrifice and memories eternal.
Responding to the criticism of police force by the opposition legislators, Sindh Local Government Minister Saeed Ghani said since the last couple of years, the provincial Apex Committee had defined a procedure to recruit new policemen in the province and that process was being fully acted upon in which the government had no say.
Ghani said the provincial government should be lauded for getting itself distanced from the police recruitment process. He added that the opposition lawmakers blaming the provincial government for the inefficiencies and misconduct of the Sindh police should keep in mind that the Sindh government, unlike other provincial governments, had no administrative control over the police force on the basis of a court order.
Judicial orders for Sindh are of one kind while for other provinces they are of a different kind, the local government minister maintained. He said the opposition should keep in mind that in Sindh, the chief minister did not even have the authority to remove a police constable.
He also quoted the Punjab information minister who had said that the Punjab chief minister had powers to transfer the district police officers posted in the province. If the opposition desired that the Sindh government should step in to improve the working of the police force, it should agree that the government’s control over the police in Sindh should be of the same level as it was the case in the other provinces, Ghani remarked.
He added that despite the fact that the CM had no powers to control the police force in Sindh, he and his ministers were made accountable for the police’s performance as any IG or DIG of the police force never came to the house to explain such unscrupulous actions of the police personnel.
Ghani informed the house that an investigation committee constituted by the Karachi additional IG had been working to ascertain facts of the killing of Nimrah, which comprised senior and qualified police officers. He assured the assembly that it the policemen involved in the incident were found guilty of firing at the deceased girl, even though unintentionally, they would be handed down stern punishment as per the law.
The house also unanimously passed a resolution in favour of granting special blue passports to the spouses and other dependents of the members of the Sindh Assembly for a period of five years. The resolution was moved by Pakistan Peoples Party MPA Marvi Faseeh in light of the similar privileges available to the lawmakers and their family members of the National Assembly and Senate of Pakistan for travelling abroad.
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