‘Addict’ held for killing infant son at Karachi’s JPMC – 30 Nov 2022

KARACHI: Police have arrested a man, said to be an addict, on charges of killing his infant son following a quarrel with his injured wife at the Jinnah Postgraduate Medical Centre.

South SSP Syed Asad Raza told Dawn on Tuesday that the incident took place late on Monday night when Asif Hussain visited the JPMC where his wife, Kaneez Bibi, 40, along with her two children — Atif and Salma — was admitted for treatment following a road traffic accident on Sunday night.

He said she was on a stretcher at the hospital when a man gave her Rs1,000 as charity.

He said the suspect, who’s a drug addict, demanded the cash from his wife and when she refused he started a scuffle, took his own one-year-old son from the stretcher and threw him on the floor causing his death.

The police registered a murder case against him on the complaint of his wife.

The family originally hailed from Rahim Yar Khan and lived here in a slum area of Sohrab Goth.

Read more

Disasters and educational infrastructure – Part I – 30 Nov 2022

The frequency and intensity of natural disasters has alarmingly increased in recent years, predominantly due to climate change. Both developed and developing countries have been impacted alike. However, research that I conducted in Malakand Division clearly illustrates that human and financial cost of natural hazards is significantly greater in poorer societies and countries due to lack of preparedness and non-existence of resilient infrastructure.

The question arises as to why disasters of the same intensity cause different scales of destruction in different countries. For example, the 2010 Haiti earthquake of 7.1 magnitude brought massive devastation, killing about 230,000 people, displacing over two million residents from their homes and causing financial damage of about $14 billion.

In contrast, the 2010 Canterbury earthquake in New Zealand, with the same intensity of 7.1 on the Richter Scale, claimed no lives although it damaged buildings and infrastructure. One of the main factors behind this mammoth difference of human and financial cost was that New Zealand is a better resourced economy having already developed substantial engineering capacity, strict implementation of building codes and emergency response while Haiti lacked these prerequisites. In other words, New Zealand had developed resilient infrastructure and was better prepared to mitigate the magnitude of such natural disasters.

The Department for International Development (DFID) of the UK defines disaster resilience as “the process of helping communities and countries to be better prepared to withstand and rapidly recover from a shock such as an earthquake, drought, flood or cyclone”. It implies that resilience is something that can be built and enhanced by means of strengthening capacities and reducing vulnerabilities through institutional and legislatives arrangements. Thus, resilience is the capability of a community, society or overall government system to absorb the initial shock and re-stand on its feet and restart its life after a particular natural or human-induced tragedy.

There is no doubt that Pakistan lacks resilience; our particularly educational institutes are vulnerable to hazards due to certain factors. For instance, over 10,000 schools collapsed during the 2005 Kashmir earthquake, killing about 18,095 students and 853 teachers and educational staff in the earthquake-affected districts and injuring another 50,000. The 2010 and the recent monsoon floods are clear illustrations of the country’s extreme vulnerability to natural hazards.

The 2020 floods affected over 20 million people across 78 districts of the country and submerged about one-fifth of Pakistan’s total land area. The damage and destruction of property, livelihood and infrastructure was beyond imagination as the floods damaged 23, 831 KM roads, 485 health facilities, 1.6 million houses and rendered 7.3 million people homeless. Like the 2005 earthquake, the 2010 floods hit the education sector hard as 10,348 schools, 23 colleges, and 21 vocational training facilities were damaged. As a result, the study of about seven million students was disrupted and most of them were accommodated in temporary tent schools.

In the recent flooding, about 1,735 people lost their lives, including 646 children and over 33 million people were affected in 85 districts. In addition, over 13,115km roads and 439 bridges have been partially or fully damaged. The government declared a total of 94 districts as disaster-hit which are over half of all districts in the country. According to the detailed post-disaster needs assessment (PDNA) study conducted by the government in collaboration with various development partners, the floods inundated one-third of the country and displaced eight million people.

Like previous natural disasters, along with private property and critical public infrastructure including roads and bridges, the floods have damaged state-run educational institutes across all the affected districts. The report mentions that “the floods have impacted approximately 17,205 public schools (primary to higher secondary), colleges, special education centers/schools/institutions, technical and vocational education and training centers, and universities”. About 6,225 educational institutions were declared to be fully destroyed while another 10,980 were assessed to be partially damaged. Overall, the education sector has been hit hard as the floods affected some 94,478 teachers and 2.6 million registered students in the calamity-hit areas.

Floods have been the most recurring and devastating natural disasters in the country. To mitigate the impact and intensity of flooding, the government of Khyber Pakhtunkhwa amended the Khyber Pakhtunkhwa Ordinance No III of 2002, known as the Khyber Pakhtunkhwa River Protection Act 2014. The law specifically prohibits the construction of commercial or non-commercial buildings at the banks of rivers to ensure smooth flow of water. For example, regarding the general prohibitions, the act states that no person shall be allowed to: “Construct, or undertake any related physical works of any commercial building or non-commercial building, or undertake any other developmental work, within two hundred feet to be measured along the slope (lay off land) beyond high water limit on either side of the rivers or their tributaries or on a space within the limits between the banks of a river”.

Regarding ‘Land Use and Zoning Plans’, the law clearly stipulates that: “The area up to fifteen hundred feet starting from two hundred feet to be measured along the slope (lay off land) beyond the high water limits on either side of the rivers or their tributaries shall be known as Provincial control Area, wherein construction or other developmental activities shall be undertaken in accordance with the land use and zoning plans prepared under sub-section”.

The said Act further warns that “any organization or individual, who intends to construct bridge, culverts, crossing structure and flood protection works on rivers, streams, nullahs, drains and water channels shall obtain an NOC, before the commencement of works”.

In the recent floods, most of the damage has been done by River Swat and River Panjkora in Malakand where private and public buildings and property have been washed away by overflowing, or to be precise, choked rivers and their tributaries. Besides damaging over 3,297 houses, about 550 schools and 43 health facilities have been damaged in the area.

Several officials interviewed in various public and private sector organizations stated that lack of implementation of relevant laws resulted in more casualties and damage to infrastructure. An official in the Department of Irrigation in District Malakand said that, given unchecked encroachments on the banks of rivers in Malakand, it appears the law is only in papers as no government authorities have been able to curb these illegal constructions.

While travelling from Mingora to scenic Kalam Valley, the most famous tourist destination in Malakand region, one can see hundreds of buildings right at the bank of River Swat. Unplanned construction and encroachments obstructing the natural flow of water is one of the main reasons that the floods caused so much destruction.

To be continued

Disclaimer: This research was conducted by the writer and was supported by the Hanns Seidel Foundation (HSF) Pakistan. The opinions expressed in this article are those of the writer and do not necessarily reflect the official position of the HSF.

The writer holds a PhD from Massey University, New Zealand. He teaches at the University of Malakand. He can be reached at: muradali.uom@gmail.com

Read more

Three killed in Mansehra incidents – 30 Nov 2022

MANSEHRA: Three persons were killed in different incidents here on Tuesday.

Mohammad Imran was killed and his father Mohammad Ramazan sustained bullet injuries when armed men opened fire on them in the Dara area. According to police, the assailants intercepted their vehicle and opened fire, leaving both of them seriously injured.

The locals rushed them to the King Abdullah Teaching Hospital where doctors pronounced Mohammad Imran dead and his father was referred to Ayub Medical Complex Hospital Abbottabad. The police started an investigation to arrest the accused, who managed to flee the scene.

In another incident, the body of Imran Khan, said to be a village council secretary, was found at his home in the Ganda area. In another incident, the body of Mohammad Waqas, a carpenter by profession, was found dead at his workplace in the Nawazabad area. Mohammad Ayub told reporters his brother Waqas was settled with his friend and his body was found there.

Read more

Police searching for accomplices of child kidnappers – 30 Nov 2022

PESHAWAR: The police are investigating to find accomplices of the kidnappers who abducted children from the provincial capital in recent weeks to sell them in Punjab.

An official said they were also working to find the families of the kidnapped children. The gang members revealed they kidnapped two children in the last one month in Peshawar.

Their video statements went viral on social media, causing anger and concern among the locals who asked the police to bust the entire network and recover the children.

The Khyber district police last week said the cops with the help of locals recently arrested a six-member group for kidnapping a young girl named Mahnoor from Sipah locality in Bara tehsil.

The group that included four women apparently sell cloth on a tricycle.

The police said only one of the six kidnappers held from Khyber, Abdul Rahim, had a CNIC, which showed him a resident of Sheikhupura district in Punjab. He had first settled in Bannu few years ago and later shifted to Garhi Atta Muhammad located on the outskirts of Peshawar.

Officials said the group had confessed to kidnapping at least two children in the last one month while the third attempt was foiled.

One member of the gang in his statements before the media and police revealed that they sold the girls somewhere in Punjab. He said that he got Rs10,000 as his share. Police officials in Khyber said the gang members were impersonating as vendors in different parts of Peshawar and adjoining districts and would target vulnerable children.

Read more

Police vehicle crushes a family, killing two – 30 Nov 2022

ISLAMABAD: A speedy police vehicle crushed a family crossing Srinagar Highway, killing two people including a 6-year-old girl on the spot while two women were shifted to Pakistan Institute of Medical Sciences (PIMS) in critical condition. The accident happened at about 11.30 pm on Monday night.

The Industrial Area police have lodged a first information report (FIR) under sections 320/279 and 337-G of the Pakistan Penal Code (PPC) against the police official identified as Fahim found responsible for the fatal accident. An elderly woman Suraya Bibi and a 6-year-old girl, Alia were killed on the spot while, Suraya, 4, and Sumaira have been shifted to the hospital in critical condition.

Read more

Youth shot dead by ‘friends’ – 30 Nov 2022

LAHORE: A youth was shot dead by his two friends in the limits of Mughalpura police on Tuesday. The accused Awais and Malik Abid killed the victim Imran by firing over a minor exchange of hot words and escaped from the scene. Police shifted the body to the morgue and registered a case against the accused on the complaint of the victim’s brother.

Drug-pushers: Shalimar police arrested four drug pushers, including two brothers and their sister and recovered 3kg charas and heroin from their possession. The accused were identified as Shahida and her two brothers Farzand and Barkat. During another operation, police arrested a drug pusher Barkat. arrested: Batapur Investigation police arrested four persons on charges of killing a Dolphin official in the Defence C police area a few days ago. The accused were identified as Irfan alias Bodi, Fahad, Rizwan and Ghulam Dastgir. The accused suspected that the victim provided information to the police regarding their illegal activities. The victim identified as Qasim was on his way back from duty when the accused intercepted him in the Defence C police area a few days ago and shot him to death.

Read more

Money laundering accused bail dismissed – 30 Nov 2022

LAHORE: A Banking court on Tuesday dismissed bail petition of a managing partner of Amin Ittefaq rice mills, accused of money-laundering.

The court has dismissed bail of the accused due to lack of jurisdiction. The accused Muhammad Deen was arrested over the charges of money-laundering and theft of mortgaged stock in the bank. It was alleged that the investigating officer traced the stolen sacks of rice from accused. The case was filed by a private bank on charges of fraud and money-laundering. The accused took a loan from the bank and mortgaged sacks of rice and later stole the stock, the bank stated.

Read more

‘Joint efforts needed to check violence against women, kids’ – 30 Nov 2022

LAHORE: The Punjab government spokesperson Musarat Jamshed Cheema has said that there is a need to work together to prevent violence against women and children.

She was addressing a seminar organised by Punjab University Institute of Social and Cultural Studies (ISCS) in connection with the ongoing awareness campaign regarding violence against women and children.

Punjab Women Protection Committee Chairperson Rafia Kamal, ISCS Director Prof Dr Rubeena Zakar, representatives of NGOs, faculty members and students participated in the event. Ms Cheema said that laws should be strictly enforced to end violence against women and children. She said that women, whether poor, educated or uneducated, were subject to harassment and violence in any society.

Rafia Kamal said awareness should continue through seminars and workshops in educational institutions to prevent violence against women and children. Giving a briefing on the research report regarding the subject, Syed Kausar Abbas told the participants that in the last ten months, 3,088 rape cases of women have been reported in Punjab, while 446 women have been raped in Lahore alone. He said that 4,503 incidents of child abuse have been reported, of which Lahore was on the top with 1,221 incidents. He said that in order to prevent such incidents, awareness should be created among the students through curriculum.

Dr Rubeena Zakar said that incidents of violence against women and children were increasing day by day for which more steps should be taken. gender-based violence: Aawaz II Programme in collaboration with Peace & Justice Network (PJN) and Punjab Women Protection Authority (PWPA) hosted a provincial consultation titled “Strengthening Gender-based Violence Response Mechanisms in Punjab” here on Tuesday.

Over 47 provincial level stakeholders, including representatives from the Punjab Provincial Ombudsperson on Harassment at Workplace, Gender Cell Police Department, Punjab Women Protection Authority, civil society organisations as well as lawyers, social activists, and transgender rights activists, persons with disabilities and religious minorities, rights activists participated in the session. The event was designed to identify the gaps in the existing redressing mechanisms for gender-based violence (GBV) survivors and to make the available mechanisms more inclusive and accessible for women, and transgender persons.

The keynote speakers included Rafia Kamal, Chairperson Punjab Women Protection Authority, Nabila Hakim Ali Khan, Provincial Ombudsperson against Harassment at Workplace, Irshad Waheed, Director General Punjab Women Protection Authority and Dr. Yasmim Zaidi, Team Lead Aawaz II.

Rafia Kamal said that the PWPA is focused on improving the mechanism for reporting and rehabilitation of those affected by gender-based violence in Punjab. The task of eliminating gender-based violence is quite challenging and all stakeholders need to be on a common platform such as the Aawaz II programme to partake against the demeaning increase in GBV, she said.

Nabila Hakim Khan highlighted the women-friendly at workplace and mechanisms to ensure their inheritance rights. She explained the salient features of the Punjab Enforcement of Women’s Property Rights Act and said this law has facilitated women in getting their property rights. Dr Yasmin Zaidi, Aawaz II Team Lead, remarked that discrimination against women is rampant in our society and researches have shown alarming trends.

Read more

‘Serial’ child rapist awarded death penalty in second case – 30 Nov 2022

An anti-terrorism court on Tuesday handed down death penalty to a man for sexually assaulting a minor girl.

Amjad Ali alias Zakir was convicted of raping the victim within the remits of the Sukhan police station in 2017. He is said to be a serial child rapist as this is the second case of sexual abuse in which he has been convicted.

The ATC-X judge pronounced his judgement earlier reserved after recording evidence and hearing final arguments from both defence and prosecution sides. “Accused Amjad Ali, without any shadow of doubt, is convicted under Section 376 (3) of the Pakistan Penal Code (PPC) and sentenced to death,” the judge ruled. “He shall be hanged by neck till his death with intimation to this court.”

However, he added, the capital punishment was subject to confirmation by the Sindh High Court as provided under Section 376 (power to High Court to confirm sentence or annul conviction) of the Criminal Procedure Code (CrPC). In the meantime, the convict can also file an appeal with the high court against the sentence.

According to the prosecution, the complainant, who is the mother of the victim, used to work in a factory and resided in the nearby Labour Square flats along with her three minor daughters. Her husband lives in Punjab.

On the day of the incident, accused Amjad, who had been conducting reconnaissance, entered the complainant’s house on the pretext of renting the premises when she was away. He locked up two other minors in one room and sexually abused the victim and escaped.

An FIR was lodged under Section 376 (punishment for rape) of the Pakistan Penal Code (PPC) read with Section 7 (punishment for terrorism) of the Anti-Terrorism Act, 1997 at the Sukhan police station. Previously, the accused was convicted of sexually abusing a minor girl within the jurisdiction of the Shah Latif Town police station in 2017.

Read more

Man slaughters wife, 3 daughters – 30 Nov 2022

Slits his own throat to end his life on financial crisis

KARACHI:
A sales manager of a private company brutally slaughtered his wife and three daughters in Shamsi Society, Malir Halt, before slitting his own throat.

The ruthless head of the family, Fawad, was rushed to Jinnah Hospital in critical condition where doctors are trying to save his life.

The alleged murderer had also informed his brother living abroad about his intention of mass murder, while his mother maintained that her son strongly loved her granddaughters but he was suffering from a financial crisis owing to nonpayment of salary for the past four months.

According to details, Fawad, a resident of Block D Shamsi Society situated in Malir, brutally slaughtered his three daughters and wife with a dagger before trying to take his own life with the weapon.

When the family members of the accused came to the upper floor after hearing screams in the house, the grill was locked. They broke the grill and entered the portion to find his three daughters lying in a pool of blood in one room and the blood-soaked body of his wife in the other room.

The family immediately informed the rescue team, which shifted the dead bodies and the injured accused to Jinnah Hospital, where the doctors confirmed that the mother and the three daughters were brought dead while efforts were underway to save the life of the brutal suspect.

As soon as the information was received, the Ranger, police and forensic team reached the spot and recovered the murder weapon and sealed the crime scene.

Important evidence was collected from the crime scene. Mobile phones of the accused, his deceased wife and other members of the house were also seized.

Speaking to The Express Tribune at the scene, SSP Korangi Sajid Saduzai said, it is suspected that the accused killed his wife and three daughters after drugging them unconscious.

The dagger recovered from the crime scene is not used in ordinary houses. It is suspected that Fawad killed his wife and three daughters after buying the weapon used in the horrific killings.

The SSP further said that the condition of the accused is out of danger. The actual facts will come out after his detailed statement.

There is only one way in and out of the house, which shows that no other accused was involved in the incident, the police officer said.

The family of the accused Fawad told police that he was a manager in a spice factory and had not been paid his salary for months. His financial situation was not good due to which he was often worried, while he also used to have brawls with his wife as his other siblings were doing well.

Family sources said that the accused had informed his brother living abroad before the incident that he was going to kill his wife and children.

Residents of the area say that the accused Fawad Ahmed has been living here with his family for the past five years. He belonged to a friendly and well-mannered family.

The bodies were handed over to the heirs after the post-mortem of the mother Huma, 42, Neha, 16, Fatima, 12, and Nimra, 10.

The sources at Jinnah Hospital said that the deceased mother and daughters were killed by a sharp instrument which slit their throats.

Read more