SC forms commission on Thar water crisis, seeks detailed report


ISLAMABAD: The Supreme Court (SC) on Wednesday formed a commission on water crisis and other issues in Thar under a judge of district and sessions court, and sought a detailed report in this regard.

The hearing of a case pertaining to infant mortality in Thar resumed on Wednesday by a two-member bench headed by Justice Ijazul Ahsan and Justice Sajjad Ali Shah. The court was given a report by the advocate general of the province on the measures taken by the Sindh government for the resolution of issues.

The court was informed that doctors were offered a special incentives package by Pakistan People’s Party (PPP) to encourage them to transfer to the most neglect area of the province.

“We have given additional packages worth Rs150,000 to Rs250,000,” he said.

The court, however, remained unimpressed by the steps taken by the government and asked that under which law did the government hand over such huge funds for this purpose. “Is the government releasing a special budget?” the court asked.

The provincial finance secretary informed the court that the government had issued a notification in this regard.

The court also sought details of doctors who had accepted the package and the doctors who had refused the package. Justice Shah said that when an employee refuses to work, they are fired.

The court was informed by the advocate general that extending privileges had transformed the situation.

The court also sought a detailed report on the transfer of medical professionals to the region. The advocate general sought two to three days to submit a reply in the court.

Later, the court ordered the formation of a commission, headed by a district and sessions court judge to review issues, including malnutrition, water crisis, in Thar and submit a report on it within 15 days.

The court was also informed by SC amicus curiae Faisal Siddiqui that the five different reports outline the provincial government’s performance in the neglected region had been presented by the government during the last five years. On this, Justice Shah said that a provincial government-approved committee was constituted by SC in 2016 but the committee did not deliver any results.

Later, the hearing was adjourned until next week.