KARACHI - Pakistan People’s Party (PPP) Chairman Bilawal Bhutto Zardari on Saturday laid stress on urgent steps to protect children against abuse and other crimes.

Talking to a delegation of an NGO working against child abuse , gender-based violence and early age marriages, Zardari urged the civil society and the Sindh government to workout joint plans to create comfortable and secure environment for children.

Sindh Chief Minister Murad Ali Shah, Senator Sherry Rehman, Special Assistant to Chief Minister on Human Rights Rehana Leghari, Aseefa Bhutto Zardari, Shamim Wasi, Shahzad Roy and Nazo Pirzada were present in the meeting.

The meeting discussed the process initiated by Aahung for integration of Life Skills Based Education (LSBE) into the secondary school curriculum in Sindh. The PPP chairman and chief minister were requested to ensure that subsequent process of teacher training and reprint of textbooks with LSBE content takes place in Sindh.

According to Aahung, it has already developed and tested content for children on body protection and sexual abuse prevention in public and private schools. The PPP chairman and the chief minister agreed that this content now needs to be made part of the primary school curriculum in Sindh for class 3, 4 and 5.

The PPP chairman agreed in principle that the chief minister may head a joint committee of the Sindh government and civil society to oversee the process of integration of content into primary curriculum. Aahung will provide technical assistance as they already have the content and methodology ready. Training of a special police task force, judges and medico legal officers on child abuse prevention will also take place.

Zardari said that children would be protected whether in schools, seminaries, streets or playgrounds and appreciated the Sindh government for working with civil society organisations for the cause. He said that his party had already moved a draft law on child protection to the Sindh Assembly, including the Sindh Child Protection Authority Bill.

Also, Bilawal and Aseefa paid a visit to Karachi Eat 2018, a food festival at Benazir Bhutto Park near Boat Basin on Saturday.

Bilawal got mixed up with the visitors and many of them clicked selfies with him. He also drew an arrow, PPP’s electoral symbol, at a stall.

Separately, Bilawal felicitated Abdul Quddus Bizenjo on his election as new chief minister of Balochistan. Bizenjo was voted 16th chief executive of country’s area-wise largest province on Saturday.

In a statement, the PPP chairman said that people of Balochistan had avenged the PML-N for completely ignoring them in its priorities. He said the PML-N had failed not only in Balochistan but its dismal performance had led the country into multiple crises.

Bilawal said it had been proved once again that PML-N was not a political or ideological party; it was just a bubble. He said that Sharif brothers and their politics would be completely routed out in 2018 general elections and the PPP would emerge victorious.