KARACHI - In another attempt to divert criticism on lack of government relief activities in drought-hit Tharparkar from Opposition parties in Sindh and civil society, Sindh Chief Minister Minister Syed Qaim Ali Shah on Sunday constituted a two-member judicial commission to probe into overall situation in the region.

It is not the first time that the chief minister constituted a judicial commission to probe Thar deaths. A similar commission with Justice (retd) Ghulam Sarwar Korai and retired District & Sessions Judge Arjun Ram as its members were appointed in 2014 to probe children deaths in Tharparkar and fix responsibility against the culprits.

Although the commission members visited the affected area and its facilities but the report compiled by them was never publicised. A body to probe Thar deaths was also led by senior PPP leader and Provincial Minister Manzoor Hussain Wasan that pointed fingers at the government functionaries over the deaths in the area due to malnutrition and hunger but later the government said that there were no such findings given by the commission.

The Sindh Assembly also formed a parliamentary panel to probe the Thar issue but later, the chief minister dissolved it and formed a committee comprising of two former judges in 2014.

According to a handout from CM House on Sunday, the chief minister taking serious view of the situation in Thar said that his government had taken practical measures for poverty alleviation in Thar."I have improved health service, upgraded BHUs, dispensaries and taluka hospitals by providing them equipments, and have doubled the budget of medicines even then the media reports state that infant deaths are on the rise which is disturbing for me," he said and directed Chief Secretary Siddique Memon to constitute a judicial commission under Justice (retd) Ghulam Sarwar Korai and retired District & Sessions Judge Arjun Ram as member to probe overall situation prevailing in Thar.

The commission would probe into the deaths of children, impact of government measure taken so far and suggest further requirements, if any and also point out any shortfall in the implementation of government efforts/policy within 15 days.

“The commission would start its work from Monday so that it could complete the probe within the given time,” it concluded. Talking to The Nation regarding formation of a committee over Thar issue, the MQM lawmaker and an active member of the Provincial Assembly Muhammad Hussain dismissed the government way of tackling the issue and said that whenever they wanted to dilute an issue, they form a committee.

“The government should first inform the Assembly regarding the progress report of committees formed a year ago over Thar deaths then it should proceed with another Committee,” he said, adding, that the move from the government was nothing but to suppress the voice of civil society and political parties over this issue.

TWO MORE CHILDREN DIE IN THAR

INP adds: Starvation coupled with several diseases continues to haunt residents of Thar as two more children breathed their last on Sunday in Civil Hospital Mithi. Some 133 children have fallen victim to malnutrition since the start of this year.