KARACHI    -   Sindh Health Minister Dr Azra Fazal Pechuhu Monday told the provincial assembly that total 239 patients were diagnosed with AIDS in the province from December 2003 to September 2018 and said that the government was taking all-out steps to counter HIV and AIDS.

Furnishing replies during the Question Hour, Azra said that they were adopting measures to control HIV and AIDS saying that a multisectoral, comprehensive and sustainable response to HIV/AIDS based on evidence, transparency and accountability through active involvement of district government civil society were being carried out.

“We are trying to ensure environment which allows people living with HIV can access medical, social and support services free of cost without stigma and discrimination so that adherence to treatment reaches to 90 per cent by the end of Fiscal Year 2023.

To control the incidence of HIV/AIDS, Family Health Awareness Centers were also being established at the district level and availability of service delivery points (SDPs) for most at risk population (HARP) would be ensured by the year 2019-20.” Our target is to increase the coverage up to 80 per cent in high risk groups and expansion of HIV care services at district and tertiary care hospital level,” the minister added. She said that several diagnostic labs, treatment centers, counseling centers were established across the province.

LAW AND ORDER SITUATION IS BETTER

Sindh Minister for Energy Imtiaz Shaikh said that law and order situation of the province has been improved considerably. Responding to a calling attention notice on behalf of Chief Minister Syed Murad Ali Shah who also holds portfolio of home, Shaikh informed the house that the killers of two Hindu trader Tamil Das Menghwar who was killed after being kidnapped. “Will the Honourable Minister for Home, Sindh may please to give answer/statement that what steps have been taken to arrest culprits of trader Tamil Das Menghwar who have been killed after kidnapping in Jhol, district Sanghar,” the Grand Democratic Alliance MPA Nand Kumar Goklani asked. Shaikh said that the law enforcement agencies took timely action to nab the culprits who would be treated as per law.

DURRANI FELICITATED ON BECOMING LONGEST SERVING SPEAKER

Speaker Agha Siraj Durrani was felicitated by the house on becoming the longest serving speaker of the Sindh Assembly since the independence of Pakistan. Durrani, who has been serving as the Speaker for the second consecutive time, was elected custodian of the house in last tenure as well.

TORTURE ON PTI MPAS

Separately, Minister Parliamentary Affairs Mukesh Kumar Chawla assured the Pakistan Tehreek-e-Insaf MPAs that a report would be submitted in the assembly regarding alleged torture on them. Dua Bhutto, Raja Azhar Khan and Saeed Ahmed Afridi of PTI moved a privilege motion against Sindh police for ‘torturing’ them during Nurses protest on July 8. “On July 18, 2019, we were participating in the peaceful protest of nurses in front of Karachi Press Club show support of their legitimate demands. As part of the protest, we along with the nurses were Lathi-charged and water-cannoned by the Sindh Police. We were defenseless against such attack. Given the above attack by Sindh Police, we strongly believe our privilege as MPAs were breached and thus we demand the formation of a committee in this regard,” the privilege motion read. The government side however opposed the motion and termed it ‘against the rules’ but assured the PTI a report would be submitted in the house after inquiring the policemen. On the government’s assurance, Raja withdrew the privilege motion.

Legislation

Separately, the Minister for Parliamentary Affairs Minister Mukesh Kumar Chawla introduced The Sindh Reproductive Healthcare Rights Bill, 2019. The Speaker announced that the Governor Sindh has given assent to The Sindh Finance Bill, 2019. Chawla also laid before the assembly 1st biannual monitoring on the implementation of National Finance Commission (NFC) award from July to December 2016.