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Questions raised over body to probe suicide cases

CHITRAL: A private practicing doctor in Chitral has raised questions over the composition of the committee constituted by the director general of the health services KP to trace factors behind the growing number of suicide cases in the valley.

He was of the view that ideally the commission should consist of experts from different disciplines related to the issue.

Headed by Dr Azmatullah, director (admin) at the director general of health office Peshawar, the committee consists of the district health officer (DHO) Chitral and two deputy directors psycho-social programme from the DG health office.

Requesting not to be named, the doctor in Chitral said that to reach a conclusion and find the factors behind the rising suicide cases, a psychiatrist and a clinical psychologist of repute, an epidemiologist, a social scientist and a police officer with the sound knowledge of criminology and varied experience in field work should be included in the body.

He said given the frequency of suicides among the young people in Chitral, the committee should be broad-based as the reasons of suicides had been different ranging from failure in examinations to marriage against one`s own will or choice.

Social reasons cannot be excluded which contribute to depression that falls under the purview of a sociologist while presence of a criminologist is inevitable to discern between a `honour killing` and suicide.

 

He said psychiatry and psychology were two different disciplines supplementing each other and the complex situation in the context of Chitral was beyond the scope of a single discipline.

Niaz A. Niazi Advocate, a human rights activist, said honour killing could not be ruled out in Chitral in case of young women which were easily concealed as `suicide` and due to the complications in the existing criminal laws, the perpetrators got scot-free which emboldened the others to commit such an act without any fear.

He said despite the phenomenal surge in the number of suicidal cases in Chitral, the sanctioned post of district psychiatrist at the DHQ hospital was lying vacant since the inception of the hospital in early 1990s. — Dawn Correspondent

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