Pakistan News

Perpetrators of Prof Sawand’s murder will be arrested soon, Senate body informed

ISLAMABAD: Deliberating over crucial legislative matters and humanitarian concerns, a parliamentary committee on Wednesday was assured that culprits of Prof Ajmal Sawand murder case would be arrested or would surrender themselves within a few days.

The Senate Standing Committee on Human Rights, chaired by Senator Walid Iqbal, convened a session to address pressing issues concerning the rights of children.

The committee focused on two key agenda items, ‘The National Commission on the Rights of Child (Amendment) Bill, 2023’ introduced by Senator Prof Mehr Taj Roghani, presented during the Senate sitting in April 2023. The meeting also took up Senator Saifullah Abro’s point of public importance, raised during the Senate sitting also in April 2023, regarding the tragic murder of Prof Ajmal Sawand in Kandhkot, Sindh.

The committee recognised the need for a comprehensive legislative framework to safeguard and enhance the rights of children, ensuring their protection and well-being in all aspects of life. The chairperson of the National Commission on the Rights of the Child (NCRC) and secretary of the Ministry of Human Rights provided valuable insights regarding the amendment bill.

NCRC shares insight regarding child rights amendment bill

The bill’s sponsor emphasised the inclusion of a paediatrician in the commission, highlighting its necessity. However, the chairperson of the NCRC said that the formation of an advisory council would be better. Existing law permitted the commission to engage consultants, including experts, researchers, psychologists and educationists, making the inclusion of mere paediatricians unnecessary.

To include consultants in the commission, the committee recommended amending Article 14 (subsection 3) of the original act and requested a copy of the amended rules to be submitted to the committee within four months.

The chairperson requested additional time as the commission currently lacks two members. The commission was instructed to update the panel and provide a progress report on the amendment bill.

Furthermore, the committee discussed the point of public importance raised by Senator Saifullah Abro regarding the tragic murder of Professor Ajmal Sawand in Kandhkot, Sindh. Members expressed concern and pledged to take concrete steps to ensure that the perpetrators of this heinous act were brought to justice.

SSP Operation Kashmore, submitted relevant reports/documents related to the case and provided an oral update on the progress made. It was clarified that there was no political pressure associated with the case, and nine first information reports (FIRs) had been filed against the culprits.

Senator Abro suggested writing a letter to Bilawal Bhutto-Zardari urging his efforts on the matter, as well as inviting a representative of the chief minister of Sindh to the committee regarding the murder case of Prof Ajmal Sawand.

Senator Iqbal recommended consulting with chairman of the Senate before inviting relevant figures and officials to the committee. The SSP Operation Kashmore assured that the culprits would be arrested or would surrender themselves within a few days.

The committee members said that they would collaborate with relevant authorities to ensure that a thorough investigation into the matter is conducted and advocate for justice on behalf of the victim and his family.

Senator Iqbal said that his committee on human rights remained steadfast in its commitment towards upholding and protecting human rights, particularly those of vulnerable individuals.

Published in Dawn, June 8th, 2023

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