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ISLAMABAD: The National Assembly's Standing Committee on Human Rights Thursday expressed its extreme displeasure over the registration of a case against a nine-year old child for allegedly urinating in a local seminary, while asking the provincial authorities to immediately withdraw this case.

"How can a nine-year old child be implicated in blasphemy case? Where are we heading as a nation?" remarked Shazia Marri from Pakistan Peoples Party (PPP) while presiding over the committee meeting. She chaired the NA panel proceedings due to the unavailability of Bilawal Bhutto Zardari, the committee's Chairman.

The committee took up the incident involving desecration of a Mandir (temple) that was vandalized by some elements in Bong village in district Rahim Yar Khan few days back.

The committee learnt that the child, who was accused of urinating in the seminary, was granted bail by a local court.

"This goes against the teachings of Islam as well as the principles laid down by the Father of the Nation Quaid-e-Azam Muhammad Ali Jinnah. The district administration in Rahim Yar Khan could have prevented the incident by coordinating with the locals and the influential of the area. But gross negligence has been done in this particular incident by them as well as police," the committee chairperson commented.

The committee was apprised that restoration of the temple has been done. The committee members said minorities should be protected and should feel secure to live in that area.

The committee asked Punjab government that progress in the case should be shared with it and miscreants behind the temple incident be punished under the law.

The NA committee was also briefed by the victims and their families on two incidents; one in district Tharparkar, Sindh, in a coal mining company in which one Dodo Bheel died due to torture, and the other in district Dadu pertaining to a triple murder.

The committee sympathized with the victims and the bereaved families and did not make any observations keeping in view that the matter was sub judice.

The committee also sought report on Noor Mukaddam murder case from Islamabad Police. On the request of the Islamabad Police officials, the human rights panel decided to have an in-camera meeting on the matter.

Former senators Farhat Ullah Babar and Afrasiab Khattak drew the attention of the committee towards some social media posts in which their names were put on "hit list" by a former Taliban militant commander Ehsan Ullah Ehsan. Federal Minister for Human Rights Dr Shireen Mazari assured the NA panel that the matter would be investigated thoroughly and report would be shared with the committee in the next meeting.

Lawmakers including Saif Ur Rehman, Attaullah, Ghazala Saifi, Zille Huma, Fouzia Behram, Tashfeen Safdar, Shunila Ruth, Shaista Pervaiz, Mohsin Dawar, Abdur Rehman Kanju, Zaib Jaffar, Shaza Fatima Khawaja, Dr Mahreen Razzaq Bhutto, Ramesh Lal and senior officials of the relevant departments attended the meeting.

Copyright Business Recorder, 2021

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