FAISALABAD: In Chak no. 592, a poverty-stricken couple committed suicide after starving for days.

According to police sources, 22-year-old Rab Nawaz and his 20-year-old wife Nasreen bibi had been married for three years and had a 2-year-old daughter, Sajids. They lived with Rab’s parents in a small mud house. Rab was looking for a job but had not been able to find one.

Their neighbor, Niaz Ali, also said that they had travelled to Tandlianwala Town, 15km from the village, and still not found any work. He added that they had an argument regarding the situation, and both ate poisonous pills in fits of rage. They were taken to a hospital where they died.

Villager Zafar Baloch confirmed their financial difficulties and problems finding jobs.

Another neighbor, Yameen, added that Rab’s father, Salabit Baloch, left him Rs.50,000 so that the son could start a business. The money, however, was spent on treating Sajida. He also said that Rab had a seasonal job spraying pesticides, but it was insufficient to make a living out of.

Kur Police Station SHO Waris Khan claimed that the police visited the village to record statements of deceased’s father, brother, Nambardar of the area, and some neighbours, who all testified that the couple committed suicide due to poverty. On the basis of these statements, there was no case registered.

Senior rights activist Amina Zaman expressed her grievances over the incident, and encouraged efforts to be made towards the eradication of poverty. She also criticised the government for selfish utilization of funds

Senior lawyer Mian Muhammad Nasir said that Article 6 of the constitution made it the duty of the state to protect the lives of citizens, reduce poverty, and give fair oppurtunities to every citizen.

University of Agriculture Pro Vice-Chancellor Muhammad Iqbal Zafar emphasized the lack of attention poverty stricken families were getting from authorities, and advocated to change that.