The plight of children in southern Sindh highlights the government’s continued incompetence in dealing with a perpetual problem. The people of Tharparkar district in the Thar Desert are suffering from severe malnutrition and 27 children have died in the last ten days. Our leaders are silent and deliberately ignorant, more worried about saving their own skins from the Rangers operation in Karachi than starving people in their constituencies.

High rates of child mortality, largely due to acute malnutrition and poverty, are posing a major challenge to the local authorities, humanitarian organisations and civil society groups working in the area. It is reported that the Civil Hospital lacks funding, staff members remain absent and medicines are scarce in the area. Lack of resources has further added to the misery of the locals. This happens every year and the government get away with criminal negligence. In 2014, the Sindh government announced the establishment of the Thar Development Authority to address the problem, however, the draft is still pending for approval.

In Sindh’s Tharparkar area the tragic cycle of children’s death – attributed to malnourishment, premature births, drought and lack of health facilities – is never-ending. However, the government is only concerned with pointing fingers in any direction than its own, claiming that these deaths are not because of the drought, but a number of ‘other problems’. Were these other problems not their responsibility to solve?

What is also unfortunate is that there is no outcry by the opposition parties or the general public over this inaction. When the ruling party is busy organizing rallies miles away, how can it possibly pay heed to the misery of the people in this remote part of their province?