Child death toll in Pakistan desert area rises

2014-03-10 12:40
(Fareed Khan, AP)

(Fareed Khan, AP)

Multimedia   ·   User Galleries   ·   News in Pictures Send us your pictures  ·  Send us your stories

Islamabad - At least 62 children have died in a district of southern Pakistan where thousands are suffering from malnutrition, officials said on Monday, as the country's top judge called the situation a national shame.

The disaster has sparked public outcry and diverted media attention away from the regular glut of militant attacks, with both Prime Minister Nawaz Sharif and Benazir Bhutto's heir Bilawal Bhutto-Zardari visiting the afflicted region.

Local authorities last week ordered a probe into the deaths, which occurred in a stretch of the Thar Desert, which begins around 300km from Karachi and runs up to the border with India.

Chief Justice Tassaduq Hussain Jillani summoned top officials to the Supreme Court in Islamabad on Monday and said the country "should hang down our heads with shame" over the conditions that led up to the deaths and the failure of government to prevent them.

Mumtaz Ali Shah, the home secretary for Sindh province where the desert lies earlier told the court: "At least 62 children died, mostly because of unusual cold weather leading to outbreak of pneumonia and poor medical facilities during last three months in Thar".

But the province's advocate general Fateh Malik said the situation was not as bad as had been portrayed by the media, claiming disasters were the norm in the impoverished area.

He said 120 000 bags of food have been distributed so far and a compensation of rupees $2 000 to the families of the dead.

The court directed the officials to file a detailed statement about the situation with a plan of action next Monday.

Prime Minister Nawaz Sharif also arrived on Monday in Mithi, the capital of the Tharparkar district, to personally look into the situation, accompanied by Bhutto-Zardari, whose Pakistan People's Party rules the province.

"The provincial government should take steps to prevent any such incident in the future," Sharif said, adding the federal government was ready to assist.

Poor health and communication infrastructure keeps the district disconnected from mainstream population.

In 2000, the desert suffered a famine that killed 90% of the livestock, the economic mainstay of the area.

Read more on:    nawaz sharif  |  benazir bhutto  |  pakistan
NEXT ON NEWS24X
SHARE:

Read News24’s Comments Policy

24.com publishes all comments posted on articles provided that they adhere to our Comments Policy. Should you wish to report a comment for editorial review, please do so by clicking the 'Report Comment' button to the right of each comment.

Comment on this story
0 comments
Add your comment
Comment 0 characters remaining
 

Inside News24

 
/Beauty

Jobs in Cape Town [change area]

Property [change area]

Travel - Look, Book, Go!

Magical Massinga

Spend 5 nights at the gorgeous Massinga Beach Lodge in Mozambique and only pay for 4 from R13 220 per person sharing. Includes return flights, accommodation, transfers and romantic turndown. Book now!

Kalahari.com - shop online today

Up to 40% off fashion accessories

Save up to 40% on selected handbags, purses, watches, jewellery and more. Offer valid while stocks last. Shop now!

Save up to R2000 on top electronics

Get every day mind bowing savings on top electronics. Offer valid while stocks last. Shop now!

As seen on TV - New book releases at only R199 each

Get mind blowing book savings on new titles. Offer valid while stocks last. Shop now!

Save up to 50% on Women’s month treats!

Celebrate the awesome women in your life with awesome treats like beauty products, fashion accessories, bestselling books, electronics and more. Offer valid while stocks last. Shop now!

Up to 60% off - clearance sale!

Save up to 60% on appliances, books, electronics, toys, movies and more. Offer valid while stocks last. Shop now!

OLX Free Classifieds [change area]

Samsung Galaxy s4

Mobile, Cell Phones in South Africa, Western Cape, Cape Town. Date October 24

Best bargain in big bay

Real Estate, Houses - Apartments for Sale in South Africa, Western Cape, Cape Town. Date October 25

VW Golf 6, 1.6 Trendline (Excellent condition)

Vehicles, Cars in South Africa, Western Cape, Cape Town. Date October 25

Horoscopes
Aquarius
Aquarius

The virtual world can be very tempting to escape into but focus on also being present and keeping your feet anchored in reality....read more

There are new stories on the homepage. Click here to see them.
 
English
Afrikaans
isiZulu

Hello 

Create Profile

Creating your profile will enable you to submit photos and stories to get published on News24.


Please provide a username for your profile page:

This username must be unique, cannot be edited and will be used in the URL to your profile page across the entire 24.com network.

Settings

Location Settings

News24 allows you to edit the display of certain components based on a location. If you wish to personalise the page based on your preferences, please select a location for each component and click "Submit" in order for the changes to take affect.








Facebook Sign-In

Hi News addict,

Join the News24 Community to be involved in breaking the news.

Log in with Facebook to comment and personalise news, weather and listings.