The Sindh High Court Sukkur Bench has suspended the membership of two Sindh lawmakers, including Faryal Talpur, over rising dog bite cases in the province.
The SHC, in its written order, directed the Election Commission of Pakistan (ECP) to suspend the memberships of the Members of Provincial Assembly (MPA) from Ratodero and Jamshoro. Talpur and Asad were the MPAs elected from those two areas.
“The dog bite cases are increasing rapidly day-by-day, which shows that all the MPAs being elected have failed to provide facilities to the poor people of their constituencies, especially, in aforesaid pointed out Taluka and district.
In such a situation, the membership of MPAs elected from Rata dero and Jamshoro is hereby suspended,” read the order.
The bench directed that the copy of the order be sent to the provincial election commissioner to issue a notification regarding the suspension of membership of the MPAs.
Apart from the two, the bench also warned that membership of other lawmakers could be suspended if they do not supervise the ongoing drive against dog bites.
“Remaining members of provincial assembly are once again directed to supervise the ongoing drive against dog bite cases, and ensure that in future no dog bite case happens and if any case of dog bite is reported, the member of provincial assembly of that constituency shall be held responsible and their membership may be suspended,” read the order.
The bench also berated the Sindh Assembly secretary for not complying with court orders. It directed the official to explain the non-compliance of court orders.
Responding to the judge, the public prosecutor said that MPAs have nothing to do with the incidents of dog bites, to which the judge said they knew to whom the respective officers paid commissions — and that the MPA must ensure people’s safety.
During the hearing, the officers had presented reports on which the court expressed dissatisfaction and adjourned the hearing till March 16.
A week ago, the court had said it would suspend the membership of any lawmaker who would not oversee the campaign to kill stray dogs.
It had previously ordered registration of FIRs against lawmakers and asked to oversee the campaign to kill stray dogs in their constituencies.
“This is not the function of MPAs and MNAs,” said Murtaza Wahab, a spokesman for the Sindh government. He said this was the job of the local governments.
“It’s inappropriate to issue an order against someone who is not responsible for the job,” Wahab added.