KARACHI: Chief Justice of Pakistan (CJP) Justice Mian Saqib Nisar on Wednesday questioned if any work in Sindh is being done in adherence to the law.
“Is there anything that is being done right in Sindh?” CJP Nisar asked the provincial advocate general during a hearing of a suo motu notice at the top court’s Karachi registry.
The Supreme Court (SC) had taken a suo motu notice of the use of luxury vehicles by federal and provincial ministers and government officers beyond their entitlement.
CJP Nisar’s comments came as Sindh Advocate General Barrister Zameer Hussain Ghumro informed the three-judge bench that 149 luxury vehicles in the use of ministers and other officers beyond their entitlement had been recovered from the Sindh government.
To this, the CJP asked where the recovered cars had been parked and if there was a framework regarding their use in the future.
“There is a central pool of cars and we have prepared a framework regarding the use of the vehicles,” the Sindh advocate general responded while presenting the provincial government’s notification on the use of recovered luxury vehicles.
As per the notification, the luxury vehicles have been permitted for use for field work and special assignments.
“Rs25,000 per day will be charged for the use of vehicles for field work and special assignments,” the advocate general informed.
“This means that the Sindh government will now be renting out cars,” the CJP remarked.
“All this work is being done on the basis of ill-intentions,” CJP Nisar asserted.
The CJP further said, “The notification allows ministers to use the vehicles all day long.”
Declaring the notification null and void, the CJP adjourned the hearing of the case till June 28.
Later during the day, while hearing case regarding the deaths of children in Mithi and Tharparkar, the chief justice remarked, “There is no such thing as governance in Sindh.”
Lashing out at the Pakistan People’s Party (PPP), CJP Nisar stated that a private hospital report has blamed the former provincial government’s negligence for the deaths of children in Mithi and Tharparkar.
“Where is former Sindh chief minister Murad Ali Shah?” the CJP asked.
“If he is in town, ask him to appear before the court to apprise us of his performance,” he added.
CJP Nisar further asked, “Given Murad Ali Shah’s performance, is he contesting the upcoming general election?”
“There is a visible difference in the lack of development in Sindh as compared to other provinces,” he further said.
Responding to this, Sindh Health Secretary Fazal Pechuho told the court, “If the chief secretary listens to me I can do something.”
“The entire system has been destroyed and how much can I do all by myself?” Pechuho asked.
CJP Nisar then asked the provincial health secretary, “Who was your superior and is there anybody more senior than the chief minister?”
“You are related to the most powerful person in the province. Did you inform him regarding the situation?” he questioned.
“Children of poor people have died and your government is to blame,” the CJP told Pechuho.
To this, the bench observed that there is a lack of doctors and medical experts in the province. “The situation cannot improve till more doctors and medical experts are hired,” it said.
CJP Nisar also asked the provincial health secretary regarding the number of doctors and medical experts required in the province.
“I have recommended the hiring of 6,000 doctors and medical experts. The issue is that doctors from Karachi do not want to go to Thar,” Pechuho responded.
The CJP then questioned why doctors and medical experts had not been hired following the recommendations.
“Who is to blame for this?” he asked while further questioning how the interim government and the top court can help.
CJP Nisar then directed the Sindh Public Service Commission to hire doctors and medical experts on an urgent basis.
“Within two months, the demand for doctors in Tharparkar should be met,” he said.
The CJP also ordered the provincial government to establish a drug testing laboratory within two months.
Further, the apex court constituted a commission to probe the actions taken by the Sindh Ministry of Health.
The court ordered Counter-Terrorism Department Additional Inspector General Sanaullah Abbasi to determine who is responsible for the deaths of the children and present a report within two weeks.