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    Growing number of suicides among the youth folk in Chitral, a committee constituted to find out factors

    By Zahiruddin

    CHITRAL: Keeping in view the ever growing number of suicides among the youth folk in Chitral, the director general of health services, Khyber Pakhtunkhwa has constituted a committee to find the main factors creating tendency for suicidal attempt.

     

    As per circular issued from his office, the committee consists of Director (administration) Dr. Azmatullah, district health officer
    Chitral Dr. Israrullah and two deputy directors of psycho-social program of the directorate general.

     

    A private practicing doctor in Chitral, however, questioned the composition of the committee contending that an ideal committee on the subject should consist of the experts of different disciplines which were related to the causes of suicides.

     

    Requesting not to be named, he said that a psychiatrist and a clinical psychologist of national stature, epidemiologist, social scientist, a police officer with sound knowledge of criminology and varied experience in field work were essential to reach at a conclusion and find the factors contributing to suicide cases.

     

    He said that given the current frequency of suicides among the young people in Chitral, the committee should be broad-based as the reasons of suicides have been different ranging from failure in examination to marriage against one’s will or choice.

     

    He said that the socials reasons cannot be excluded for the act of suicide which contributed to the depression which falls under the purview of sociologist while presence of a criminologist is inevitable only who can discern between the ‘honor killing’ and suicide cases.

     

    He said that the psychiatry and psychology are two different disciplines supplementing each other and the complex situation in the context of Chitral is beyond the scope of a single discipline. Niaz A Niazi advocate, a human right activist, said that honor
    killing cannot be ruled out in Chitral in case of young women which are 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 the act without any fear.

     

    He said that despite the phenomenal surge in the number of suicidal cases in Chitral, the sanctioned post of district psychiatrist is lying vacant since the inception of the hospital in early 1990s.

     

    Husool Begum, the member of zilla council, said on the floor of the house that the suicides of women should be probed thoroughly as in most cases, the relatives murdered them and named it a suicide.

     

    District health officer, Dr. Israrullah, when contacted, said that the committee is yet to reach here to start work while exact and authentic data collection will form the first component of the terms of reference of the committee.

     

    Regarding the absence of the experts of different disciplines, he said that such people of different expertise may be included on need basis.

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