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Shahbaz Sharif orders investigation in cough syrup case

Lahore: CM Punjab Shahbaz Sharif has said that loss of human lives due to cough syrup in Lahore and Gujranwala is tragic and the government will take stern action against the elements responsible for these incidents. He said that those who displayed criminal negligence in this regard should be put behind the bars. He said that every human life is precious and its protection is a collective responsibility. He said that he is answerable to Allah as well as in the court of the people. He said that had the authorities concerned discharged their responsibilities properly towards this incident in Lahore, loss of human lives in Gujranwala could have been prevented.

The Chief Minister was presiding over a high level meeting at Model Town which reviewed the progress on cough syrup case. Special Assistant on Health Khawaja Salman Rafique, Secretaries of Home, Health, Law, Information departments, Commissioner Lahore Division, Director General Forensic Science Laboratory, Dr. Faisal Masood and other concerned officers were present. Addressing the meeting the Chief Minister said that though calamities are a natural phenomenon but adopting of preventive measures is essential. He said that deaths due to taking of cough syrup in Gujranwala after Lahore point to the negligence of the health department authorities. He said that had health department discharged its duties efficiently such tragic incidents could have been prevented. He said that every human life is dear and all possible efforts should be made for its protection. He directed the concerned authorities to identify the elements responsible for the deaths due to taking of cough syrup and legal actions should be taken against them under the law. He directed that health department authorities should remove the flaws in the system and an effective check and balance system should be implemented to control recurrence of such tragedies. He said that action will be taken against the officials who did not perform their duties and due punishment would be awarded. He said that a proper plan should be evolved to curb such incidents in future. He said that an effective system of testing of raw material used in manufacture of medicines is essential. He said that a proper check and balance system should be introduced from the production to the sale of medicines as no one can be permitted to play with human lives.

Issuing instructions for criminal investigation into cough syrup case, the Chief Minister ordered that a committee comprising competent police officers and experts should immediately be formed for this purpose. He said that departmental action will also be taken against the government officials found guilty of negligence. Secretary Home gave a detailed briefing to the meeting and presented his report.

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