ISLAMABAD  -     The Islamabad police Thursday informed the Senate panel that the cause of death of 10-old girl Farishta could only be ascertained after forensic report comes which will determine the direction of investigations.

Inspector General of Police (IGP) Islamabad Aamir Zulfiqar Khan informed the Senate Standing Committee on Interior that the police have yet to receive the report of Punjab Forensic Science Agency (PFSA) on the alleged rape and murder of minor. The case is tricky and a blind murder and final cause of death could only be determined after getting the forensic report, he added.

The capital police chief said that the report was expected to come within next 24 hours as he had dispatched a superintendent of police to Lahore to receive the report.

“The report will determine whether it is a murder or rape and murder case,” the police chief said adding the final report will determine the direction of police investigations. “If this is a rape and murder case, the investigation will on the right side and if it is only a murder case, the probe will be on the left side,” he said. He was of the view that in both scenarios, the investigations would have complete opposite directions.

Farishta went missing from outside her home from Islamabad’s Shahzad Town area on May 15 and her four-day-old body recovered on May 20 from a nearby forest.  The police are still clueless about the alleged murder despite making many suspects part of the probe and analysing phone date of 0.8 million users. On the queries of lawmakers about the delay in the issuance of final report of PFSA, IGP said that police were closely in touch with the agency but it had its own “timelines and scientific requirement” for examination.

PML-N Senator Kalsoom Perveen showed its reservations over the conduct of autopsy of minor girls what she said through a “non-qualified” doctor. “The doctor was not qualified enough to conduct such autopsies,” she remarked.

Chairman Committee Senator Rehman Malik said that the committee had reservations over delaying the conduct of autopsy and directed the police to include the doctors of the Federal Polyclinic Hospital who were allegedly responsible for the delay.

Senator Malik quoting a report said that child abuse in Pakistan had increased by 11 per cent in year 2018, compared to 2017, with more than 10 children suffering some form of abuse every day in Pakistan last year, which is highly alarming. He said that it was the high time to frame stringent laws to prevent child abuse in all forms.

Senator Malik said that there was a dire need that forensic labs in each province should be established for speedy forensic reports.  Commenting on the delay of registration of FIR in Farishta case, the members reiterated that there was a need to introduce reforms for quick filing of first information report, and for capacity building and training of police officials. The Committee tasked Senator Rana Maqbool Ahmad, additional secretary Interior and IGP to work on some recommendations for the same.

The meeting considered the matter regarding demolition of buildings near Islamabad Airport, and capital’s Kashmir Highway as raised by Senator Rukhsana Zauberi.

The chair directed that action should be taken those officers who showed criminal negligence in the past and allowed these illegal encroachments to build.  He said that Capital Development Authority (CDA) should conduct a detailed survey of demolished buildings, and of Christian colonies. He directed the CDA that the survey report should be submitted to the committee within one month. He directed that the residences in katchi abadis should not be demolished until they were provided alternate shelters and unless a prior notice of three months was served to them.

The committee also sought report from CDA as to how many houses in residential areas are still undergoing commercial activities. It also directed the Ministry of Interior and CDA to conduct a survey as to how many foreigners are living in different residential areas of the capital.

On the matter moved by Senator Usman Kakar regarding ‘gunfire by security forces at a protest in North Waziristan, a tribal district of erstwhile Federally Administered Tribal Areas (FATA), the committee dismissed the report of interior ministry and directed  that interior and defence ministries should conduct more investigation into the matter.