PA criticises poor security in Punjab
* Opposition says highest crime rate in CM’s hometown
LAHORE: The Punjab Assembly on Friday strongly criticised inadequate security in the province, especially on crimes against women after Pakistan People’s Party Parliamentarians (PPPP) Deputy Parliamentary Leader Aftab Ahmad Khan told the house that 1,532 women were raped and 144 were gang-raped during the last 10 months.
Mr Khan said the crime rate in Punjab was alarming and law enforcing agencies were not doing anything to stop crime. He said that the Punjab IG should have been in the assembly during the discussion on law and order. Rai Ejaz, who was chairing the session, asked the IG to come to the house on Monday. Mr Khan told the house that 3,973 murders, 5,485 attempted murders, 1,532 rapes, 144 gang rapes, 5,819 abductions, 99 kidnappings for ransom, 8,656 robberies, 1,002 thefts, 8,309 burglaries, 4,940 car thefts and 37,604 arms cases were reported in the province over the last 10 months.
He said that the highest crime rate was recorded in Gujrat, the home district of Chief Minister Chaudhry Pervaiz Elahi. “It is deplorable that 18 people were killed in Madina Syedan, a village two kilometres away from Mr Elahi’s home in Gujrat.
PPPP’s Farzana Raja criticised the government and police for failing to control crime against women. She said that she visited Narowal where two women were gang raped, and observed that the police were tilted towards the rapists. Treasury member Waris Kallu said the Punjab government was trying to improve law and order. He said the crime rate in Punjab could not be brought down until the economy was improved. He said that National Reconstruction Bureau should streamline police system.
PPPP member Uzma Zahid Bukhari said there was neither law nor order in Punjab. “Police already enjoys numerous powers and the Musharraf government let it loose by imposing a police order,” she said.
Ms Bukhari said that it was ridiculous that nobody could control police, despite a check-and-balance system and several policemen still commit crimes. She said that it was ironic that there were five women ministers in the Punjab cabinet but crime against women could not be reduced.
Raising a point of order during Ms Bukhari’s speech, Nasim Lodhi told the house that she visited a rape victim in Multan and directed police to bring the accused to task. Ms Bukhari unnerved the minister by saying, “She went Multan to attend a wedding ceremony and after getting some spare time, she visited the victim to show efficiency.”
PA asks minister to study water project in Faisalabad: Rai Ijaz asked Punjab Housing Minister Syed Raza Gillani to review the installation of 22 tubewells under a Japan-funded water project in Faisalabad. The ruling came after PPPP members Jehanzeb Imtiaz Gill and Rana Aftab Ahmed Khan moved an adjournment motion. Mr Gill claimed that there the level of underground water would increase after the tubewells were installed. staff report