KARACHI - Adviser to Sindh Chief Minister on Social Welfare Shamim Mumtaz on Friday informed the Sindh Assembly that around 1,000 children had gone missing from the province in 2017.

She was responding to a call attention notice from Nusrat Sehar Abbasi regarding missing of 1,894 children from the province in 2017 in the provincial assembly sitting chaired by Speaker Sindh Assembly Agha Siraj Durrani.

Abbasi said that they were raising voice over the cruelty with children in Punjab but unfortunately the situation in Sindh province was also deteriorating. She said that reportedly those went missing were both boys and girls and aging up to 18 years old and are being used for rape, forced labour and other illegal activities.

“It is all happening due to the negligence of the authorities responsible for action against such heinous crimes,” she said.

Responding to it, the minister said that the actual figure that they had collected from various sources regarding missing children in Sindh province is around 900 to 1000 and the figure of 1894 was of entire country.

“We have been working hard to address this issue and around 650 children had been recovered in the process in 2017 while 297 are missing till yet,” she said adding that they had been working on these cases.

Further giving details, the minister said that there are six child protection units working across the province and the data collected from them include around 231 missing children from Karachi, 103 from Hyderabad, 111 from Mirpurkhas, 152 from Ghotki and remaining from other districts.

She further said that the situation had improved in child protection units after the chief minister appointed SSP rank official as focal person between child protection units and police stations.

The minister further said that a lot of things had to be done in order to halt such incidents including immediate registration of FIRs and formulation of a bill aimed at dealing the abusers through strictest punishments for the culprits.

Meanwhile, MQM lawmaker Heer Soho also raised an issue of child abuse incident in Ibrahim Hyderi on which the Special Assistant to CM Sindh o Women Development Irum Khalid said that the incident had occurred and the involved gatekeeper was arrested by the law enforcing authorities and would be dealt as per law.

MQM lawmaker Deewan Chand Chawla also raised an issue of abduction of a Hindu girl Pooja Bai from Mirpur Mathelo and feared for his forced religion conversion. However, due to absence of home minister, the Minister for Parliamentary Affairs Nisar Ahmed Khuhro said that he would reply to the query by Monday in the provincial assembly.

Moreover, to a call attention notice regarding vacant primary teachers’ posts in Khairpur, the Minister for Education Jam Mehtab Dahar said that they had planned recruitment of 7,000 teachers soon with the help of IBA Sukkur after which the issue of understaffing is likely to be resolved.

To another query regarding leakages in water pipelines in Nazimabad and its adjoining areas causing water shortages in the area from MQM MPA Jamal Ahmed, the minister for local government Jam Khan Shoro said that work is continuing on at least six earlier identified leakages in the area.

“It is due to ongoing repair work that water supply is halted in the area and if there would be more leakages then it would also be repaired on identification.”

The MQM lawmaker said that there are around 79 leakages in pipelines causing wastage of around 90,000 gallons of water in district central.

The House also rejected a privilege motion from PTI Parliamentary Leader Khurram Sher Zaman regarding breach of his privilege over non – provision of funds under community development.

The parliamentary affairs minister said that there was no such provision of funds in constitution and assembly rules for the member of the assembly.

The deputy speaker later rejected the motion over raising more than one question and raising issue without any documentary evidence.

Similarly, an adjournment motion from PML-F lawmaker Nusrat Sehar Bano regarding confirmation of Sindh University teachers’ contract was also rejected by the house.

A three month report on budget execution from July-September 2017 was also laid in the house but debate on it was deferred.

A bill pertaining to Sindh Institute of Traumatology orthopedics and rehabilitation, 2017 was introduced in the house but discussion on it was deferred till Monday.

The speaker also announced assent of six bills from Governor Sindh including Sindh Civil Servants (Amendment) Bill, 2017, Sindh Safe Blood Transfusion Bill, 2017, Sindh Occupational Safety and Health Bill, 2017, Sindh Livestock Registration and Trade Authority Bill, 2017, Jacobabad Institute of Medical Sciences (Amendment) Bill, 2017 and Shahdadpur Institute of Medical Sciences (Amendment) Bill, 2017. 

The House was later adjourned for Monday.