Oct 23, 2013

Balochistan: Doctors To Resign If Refused Protection


Due to continued incidents of kidnapping and attacks on doctors in Balochistan, practicing physicians now consider resigning en masse if they are not provided with protection, and appeal to political groups and civil society to raise their voice against this dooming practice.

Below is an article published by Dawn:

The Chairman of the Core Committee of Pakistan Medical Association, Balochistan chapter, Dr Haqdad Tareen, said on Monday [21 October 2013] that 84 doctors had moved to other cities from the province because of threats to their lives and property.

Addressing a press conference at the hunger strikers’ camp at the Civil Hospital, he threatened that doctors serving in various hospitals would resign en masse if protection was not provided to them.

He said that so far 26 doctors, including cardiologist Dr Munaf Tareen, had been kidnapped and 18 others died in targeted attacks.

“We are unsafe and the government is least concerned in providing us protection or freeing Dr Tareen who was kidnapped on September 17. Keeping in view the lukewarm attitude of the administration and police, we have decided to form a private force for security,” he added.

Dr Haqdad said that today [21 October 2013] Dr Luqman Hakim, Dr Asmatullah Kakar, Prof Luqman Butt, Dr Behram Khan Achakzai, Dr Kaleemullah Kakar, Prof Nusrat Riaz and Prof Shafiur Rehman had observed token hunger strike from morning till afternoon in protest against the continued incidents of kidnapping of doctors and attacks on them.

Slamming the law-enforcement agencies for allegedly advising doctors to make a deal with abductors for the release of their kidnapped colleagues, Dr Haqdad said the government knew who the culprits were yet it was helpless to take action against them. “Hence it has no right to govern,” he added.

“We are not satisfied with security measures taken by the government as 34 days have passed and there seems to be no progress in efforts for the recovery of Dr Munaf,” he said.

Dr Haqdad appealed to political groups, welfare organisations and the general public to raise their voice against the kidnapping for ransom menace which has made the lives of doctors, engineers, businessmen and other people miserable.