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ISLAMABAD, June 22: the National Assembly Standing Committee on Human Rights on Wednesday noted with concern that the transplantation of organs law failed to check illegal sale of kidneys.

The committee observed that the poor were easily pressured into selling the organ by the mafias operating as middlemen.

It said the organs were being sold as low as Rs100,000 in various parts of the country including the major cities like Rawalpindi, Islamabad, Sargodha, etc.

The committee, chaired by Riaz Fatyana, expressed concern over the reports that the bonded labourers in Punjab were the easy target of the mafias as they could easily be forced to sell kidneys due to their poor financial state and mostly due to being under heavy debt of brick kiln owners / landlords.

The committee appealed to the ministry of health and provincial governments to look into the issue with a view to taking strict action against the violators of the law.

The committee members observed that the government enacted Transplantation of Human Organs and Tissues Act 2010 on March 18, 2010 to control illegal sale and purchase of human organs and tissues.

“But still illegal business of transplantation of human organs continues unchecked,” Mr Fatyana said.

MNA Kishwar Zehra informed the committee that some members of the committee visited different parts of Punjab to get to the bottom of illegal business of human organs.

She said the visit took place from April 11 to April 17, and also presented a film which showed that about 200-250 persons were ready to sell their organs in district Sargodha, whereas around 500 persons had sold their kidneys for Rs200,000 but, after deduction of commission by the agents, they hardly got Rs150, 000 each.

The committee expressed dissatisfaction over the working of Human Organ Transplant Authority (HOTA) as it failed to implement the law in letter and spirit.

Ministry of health and the Punjab government should revisit polices to stop the illegal business, the committee suggested.

The committee members noted that donors, recipients and doctors are the beneficiaries of organ sale, which needed to be streamlined and some tangible measures should be taken to stop this illegal business.

In this regard Dr Attiya Inayatullah, Kishwar Zehra, Mehreen Razzaque Bhutto and Capt. (rtd.) Muhammad Safdar may be consulted.

Constitution of Joint Investigation team comprising FIA, Islamabad Police and HOTA/ Ministry of Health to investigate the issue of foreigners who came to Pakistan for organ transplantation was also demanded.

The meeting was attended by Farahnaz Isphani, Samina Mushtaq Pugganwala, Shakeela Khanam Rashid, Raheela Baloch, Fauzia Habib, Dr Mehreen Bhutto, Capt. (Retd) Muhammad Safdar, Dr Arish Kumar, Kishwar Zehra, Dr Attiya Inayatullah and Bushra Rehman.