ISLAMABAD: The Supreme Court of Pakistan while hearing suo moto notice case regarding deaths of children in Tharparkar from drought has directed Sindh government to present comprehensive action plan to overcome the situation till 17th March, meanwhile Chief Justice of Pakistan Justice Tassaduq Hussain Jillani has remarked that government of Sindh is responsible for children’s death in drought-hit Tharparkar, adding that “we should bow our heads in shame over what is happening there,”. Justice Azmat Saeed remarked that people of area need bread instead of Prime Minister and Chief Minister.
Three-member bench of apex court comprising Chief Justice Tassaduq Hussain Jillani, Justice Sheikh Azmat Saeed and Justice Khilji Arif Hussain heard the case on Monday.
During case proceedings, Sindh Advocated General admitting the negligence of the government said that the responsibility for the situation should be fixed. He told court that children in Tharparkar died due to cold, adding that Parents don’t get their children treated until their condition gets critical, he added.
On this, the Chief Justice remarked that Sindh government is responsible for whatever happened in the Tharparkar district. He further stated that the media highlighted the issue otherwise the matter would have been buried.
Advocated General Abdul Fateh Malik argued that situation isn’t that bad as media is highlighting it.
The apex court inquired that how many children died in the region and when did it came to provincial authorities’ knowledge.
The Advocate General told court that 60 children have died during last three months.
Meanwhile report on behalf of Chief Secretary Sindh was submitted in the court stating that a total of 67 death cases of infants and children have been reported [in Tharparkar in the last three months). This figure is around half of the deaths reported by the media which put the toll at 128.
The report stated that 26 deaths were reported in December, 18 in January and 23 in February.
“Most of these deaths have been due to pneumonia, sepsis, birth asphyxia and very few from malnutrition. Sepsis is mainly due to use of unhygienic methods of delivery used by midwives and untrained local ‘da’is’,” the report states further.
According to the report, around 0.12 million wheat bags worth Rs429 million are being distributed amongst the affected people. “Around 80,000 bags have already been dispatched and received in the district.” 30 million have been released to Mithi Hospital out of 48 million, the report added.
Justice Sheikh Azmat asked question that how many kid were died on Sunday, but Chief Secretary was not aware of the current death figures. CS responded that he has report regarding death in January and February.
Upon that Justice Azmat inquired that on how many deaths officials react? We want to know “ whether you have children or not? We are putting the responsibility of death on the people of Thar.
Advocate general informed the court that the provincial cabinet meeting has been called to discuss one point agenda on the issue and action plan to meet the malnutrition is underway.
Advocate General said that yesterday Chief Minister visited the area and today Prime Minster is on visit.
Justice Azmat Saeed, remarked that the people in the district do not need the prime minister or the chief minister but they need food. The government has to told the court that how many kids have been died due to malnutrition and proper medical treatment.
The court directing the provincial government to submit written action plan chalked out to meet the situation, has adjourned the hearing till March 17.
On the other hand the calamity claimed five more lives on Monday including a one-year-old child as well as two-year-old Babu and three-year-old Samina who died in Civil Hospital, Hyderabad.
Five children are currently under treatment at the same hospital. At least 128 children have lost their lives in the last three months because of the drought in Tharparkar.