Work on legislation for Sir Cowasji Jahangir Institute begins

KARACHI: ICR, April 20, 2019: Sindh government constituted a committee to prepare draft legislation for an independent and autonomous Sir Cowasji Jahangir Institute of Psychiatry Hyderabad, affiliated with LUMS Jamshoro. The committee includes Vice Chancellor LUMHS Jamshoro, Senator Dr. Katim Khawaja, Secretary Works and Services Department, MS, SIR Cowasji Jahangir Institute of Psychiatry Hyderabad, Pro Dr. Haroon, Member, Sir Cowasji Jahangir Institute of Psychiatry Hyderabad, Aijaz Khanzada Health Department, Dr. Jamil Junejo, Assistant Prof Sir Cowasji Jahangir Institute of Psychiatry Hyderabad, Pro Dr. Moin Ahmed Ansari, Sir Cowasji Jahangir Institute of Psychiatry Hyderabad, Dr. Murtaza Dayo Registrar LUNHS Jamshoro and any co-opted member. The committee will prepare a draft legislation for an independent and autonomous Sir Cowasji Jahangir Institute of Psychiatry Hyderabad and furnish the feasibility report with complete codal formalities within 2 months, says a notification issued by Chief Secretary Sindh Syed Mumtaz Ali Shah. Sir Cowasji Jahangir Institute of Psychiatry Hyderabad is a trust property established in 1865 as a lunatic asylum by a Parsi philanthropist to help mentally challenged people of Sindh and other parts. Dr. Jamil Junejo, an Assistant Professor of the institute wrote in a letter in Dawn published on Marah 24, 2019 as under: The Sindh government has never made an effort to improve this facility and turn it into a modern mental health institution of international standard. This institution has a vital role to play in promoting mental health and treating mental illnesses. Globally incidence of mental illnesses is increasing. I want to highlight some decisions taken by the Sindh health department which go against this hospital’s interests. In 2004 the then health secretary allotted a 4,125 square yard plot from the institute’s land for the construction of the College of Physicians and Surgeons’ regional office. In 2009 Extended Programme on Immunisation cold chain divisional store Hyderabad was allowed ‘temporary’ permission to function in the dining hall meant for the institute’s patients and it is still here. An international NGO signed an agreement with the Sindh government to take care of patients at the institute in lieu of being allowed to build a 60-bed ward. After a few years, this NGO handed over this project to another NGO without the Sindh government’s consent. Of late the health department signed an MOU to hand over to the federal government’s narcotics control force the first floor of a newly constructed OPD block which includes four wards, four storerooms, and five toilets to set up a detoxification unit for drug addicts. This same service is already being provided by the institute. This institute is the only hope for the mentally ill. Decisions regarding its property and assets in favor of others should be rescinded immediately. On the behalf of Pakistan Psychiatric Society, I appeal to Sindh chief minister and health authorities to look into the institute’s affairs.

Shamsuddin Shaikh appointed Chairman PMDC

ICMD, April 20, 2019 Shamsuddin A. Shaikh has been appointed as Chairman Board of Directors of Pakistan Mineral Development Corporation (PMDC). Mr. Shaikh had recently started a new position as Chief Executive Officer (CEO) at national Resources Limited. PMDC is an autonomous corporation under the administrative control of Ministry of Petroleum and Natural Resources, Government of Pakistan. It was established in 1974 with an authorized capital of Rs.1,000 million to expand and help mineral development activities in the country. It is involved in exploration and evaluation of economic mineral deposits, preparation of techno-economic feasibility reports, mining and marketing. PMDC is operating 4 Coal Mines, 4 Salt Mines/quarries and a silica sand quarry. PMDC shares 17% of the coal and 58% of the total salt production in the country. The government has 100 percent equity shares in the company and it has the right to nominate all the Directors on the BoD of the companies commensurate to the ratio of the equity as provided under section 184 (2) of the Companies Act, 2017. Mr. Shaikh earned a huge prestige as CEO Sindh Engro Coal Mining Company (SECMC) and achieved one of the most difficult tasks in Pakistan—the open-pit mining of coal in Thar. Coal mining and two coal-fired power projects are successfully in operation near Islamakot. He quit his job a few months before official commissioning of the projects. (Courtesy ER)

Does Thar need an engineering university?

April 20, 2019 By Manzoor Shaikh Chairman Pakistan Peoples Party (PPP) Bilawal Bhutto Zardari has pledged the creation of a campus of NED University of Engineering and Technology in Thar. He believes the engineering disciplines which will be taught there will benefit the dwellers of Thar greatly. But does Thar, the desert of Sindh and home to billions of tonnes of coal deposits need a kind of university that PPP’s Chairman has conceived? Maybe not, if one talks to the people who have long been floating the idea of a university in this region of the province. Although Bilawal talked about yet another university, surely a general one, at least engineering university of this kind may not yield desired results, says a seasoned professor who does not want to be named. He says Thar needs a new model in which the new university should have a mix of degree courses. “Keeping in view the demand of this area, disciplines like mining and electrical should be there to start with along with the management side.” He is not alone in suggesting this kind of a mix plate model. Most of the luminaries all hailing from Thar who had requested the government for a university days before Bilawal Bhutto’s arrival in Thar also talk about such a new model. They believe the real cause of underdevelopment of their area is lack of human resource which can only be produced by setting up educational institutions in the area. In order to address the root cause of the problem, they had asked the Sindh government to open a university in Thar preferably at its prime city of Mithi. This institution would create human resource locally and thus improve the situation on the ground, they said. The desire to have a university in Thar had been put on a paper which was prepared by Thar Academia Forum. The formal request for setting up a university was signed by B.S Chaudhry, a Higher Education Commission (HEC) Distinguished Professor and member, Prof Dr. Jaimal, Prof Dr. Feroz Memon, Sohail Sangi, Dr. Abdul Ghani, Dr. Gulzar, Dr. Qasim Samejo and others. The gathering comprised of over 50 people. They did not know and even expect Bilawal was to announce to open a campus of NED University—something not in line with their thought. Most of the people who Engineering Review talked to were of the view that there were at least three reasons why this decision does not go well with the majority. One that the NED University does not have any mining department, two, it does not have any geographical proximity with Thar and, three, Thari candidates do not have their seat allocation in this university. But there may be at least two reasons why NED University had that draw, says another faculty member. They include: Syed Murad Ali Shah’s personal friendship with Dr. Sarosh Hashmat Lodhi, VC NED University since they were classmates in this University and, NED had also applied for this campus. A professor acquainted to Higher Education Commission (HEC)’s move to open campus says Thar campus had been conceived to be given to NED University as it did have adjoining districts like other universities. He recalled the HEC had allowed Mehran University of Engineering and Technology (MUET), Jamshoro to open a campus in Jacobabad. Likewise, Tando Jam University was to go to Umrkot and other universities had been permitted to follow the suit. Some educationalists in Thar and around say they expected that MUET, Jamshoro will be asked to open a campus in Mithi. All demerits of sending NED University to Mithi are actually merits for Mehran, they say. Also, Sindh Engro Coal Mining Company (SECMC) had a deal with Mehran University for creating engineering strength required at Thar mining and power projects. Former CEO, SECM Shamsuddin Shaikh said he had personally visited the university and persuaded the candidates to enroll with the mining department. He said Mehran University had played a good role and thus had the first right to be offered to open the campus. But Mr. Shaikh does not see any huge scope in Thar in the future. He said that instead of opening an engineering university in Thar, the government should focus primary and secondary education without which there would be no change on the ground. The Sindh government could invest in Thari youth by patronizing them financially for getting education from the best universities in the country. His view is pretty closer to those Thari luminaries who wish Thar has a new model university. (Appeared in ER, April 2019 (15-30) Issue)

Khadim Aarijo appears after two years, produced in ATC

LARKANA: ICMD, April 16, 2019: Khadim Hussain Aarijo, whisked away some two years back from Hyderabad, Sindh was produced in Larkana’s Anti-Terrorism Court on Tuesday. Khadim who is a food inspector was first brought to Civil Lines Police Station and then sent to SSP Office for fingerprints required in the court, reports said. Khadim has been implicated in five cases related to bomb blasts besides treason. Later, he was shifted to CIA Center, Larkana where his family including his daughters who campaigned for him over the last two years met him. One of his daughters Tanveer Aarijo told media that her father seemed well though a bit weak. Khadim was picked up from Hyderabad’s Hussainabad area in May 2017. The same month, his daughter Neelam Aarijo approached the Sindh High Court for his release. Khadim’s daughters launched a long struggle for his recovery and set up a protest camp in Larkana. A number of demonstrations were staged in many cities of the province.

Sindh Assembly adopts resolutions against PM, MQM minister

ICMD, April 15, 2019 The Sindh Assembly on Monday adopted condemnation resolutions against Prime Minister Imran Khan and Federal Minister for Information Technology Khalid Maqbool Siddiqui. The resolution against the prime minister submitted by Pakistan People’s Party (PPP) leader Nida Khuhro stated that Imran Khan has become an ‘election agent’ for Indian Prime Minister Narendra Modi. Another resolution was passed against Muttahida Qaumi Movement (MQM) leader Khalid Maqbool Siddiqui over his statement seeking federal government’s intervention in Sindh affairs. Earlier, speaking at the floor of the House, Chief Minister Murad Ali Shah lambasted MQM-P members over call for Centre’s intervention in Sindh province. he said whoever thought of Sindh’s division was himself shattered into bits and pieces. “How many more pieces you still want yourself to be divided in,” he asked, prompting the MQM-P lawmakers to protest. The chief minister said they had always had only one leader, and the entire world acknowledges Zulfikar Ali Bhutto. “Our leader is only one and we will continue to follow him. We are not like them, who abandoned their leader,” he said. “Why don’t you speak for your leader now?” he asked. Shah’s remarks, which came during a policy statement on Thar Coal Power Project, led to a protest in House by the MQM-P lawmakers. Speaker Siraj Durrani urged the protesting lawmakers to let the chief minister speak as he is giving a policy statement. The chief minister said the dream of former prime minister Benazir Bhutto was fulfilled with the completion of Thar Coal Power Project. He said the great project was completed with the efforts of Asif Ali Zardari and Bilawal Bhutto, despite impediments created by the federal government.

How a minor student lost his life in class in Larkana

LARKANA: ICR, April 14, 2019 A boy died of wounds that he received after a cluster of cemented-plaster fell off the ceiling hitting his head in a primary school of Larkana district. Local reports said the victim namely Saddaruddin Babar was studying in class – I in Karam Khan Kandhro Village school. His brother Javed Babar sitting beside him was also injured. This school is situated on the bank of Dhamrah Wah (an irrigation canal) near Naseerabad town some twenty plus kilometers of Larkana—the home town of PPP’s founders. Saddar and his brother Javed were attending the class when the incident took place. The condition of the school is so dilapidated that some pieces of ceiling plaster fell again injuring a villager Aijaz Kandhro when he entered the class to rescue the boys.

Ghotki girls Reena, Raveena permitted to stay with their husbands

ISLAMABAD: ICMD, April 11, 2019 The Islamabad High Court (IHC) on Thursday granted two Ghotki girls, Reena and Raveena permission to stay with their husbands. Father of the girls had claimed her daughters were forcibly converted from Hinduism and married to Muslim men. He said they were underage and were 13 and 14 years old But the girls had approached the IHC last month seeking protection and steps to restrain the government, police and their family from forcing them to return "and their forceful reversion to Hindu religion". The sisters had said that they had married and converted to Islam of their own will. The court after hearing arguments of both sides allowed the sisters to stay with their husbands and directed the interior secretary to ensure the security of the sisters and their husbands. Further, the bench ordered the inquiry commission to present its report and final recommendations by May 14 and adjourned the hearing of the case. On April 2, the IHC formed a five-member commission to probe whether the girls were forcibly converted and if they were underage at the time of their marriage. A medical report prepared by the Pakistan Institute of Medical Sciences (PIMS) radiology department was presented before the court and stated that the girls were not underage at the time of marriage. Raveena and Reena from Daharki in Ghotki district of Sindh are 19-and-a-half years old and 18-and-a-half years old respectively, the report stated. The ages of the sisters were determined through a bone X-ray, it added. The government had take