At a time when dozens of patients have died in public hospitals throughout Punjab due to doctors’ strike, the Lahore High Court Bar Association (LHCBA) has come forward to support the defiant doctors.
The LHCBA office-bearers, including President Shehram Sarwar Chaudhry, Vice-President Hafeezur Rehman and Secretary Sardar Akbar Ali Dogar, did not write even a single word, in a joint statement on Tuesday, in favour of the poor patients who lost their lives because of young doctor’s strike.
Targeting only the Punjab government, the LHCBA condemned the police crackdown on the protesting doctors.
“The bar criticises the crackdown on doctors by the provincial government and its departments without fulfilling the legal and lawful procedure,” the statement said.
It added that every citizen had a right to raise voice for his rights by remaining within constitutional limits.
“Police raids on the houses and hostels of doctors and their arrests without registering FIRs are tantamount to defiling the sanctity of domestic privacy,” the statement maintained.
More than 200 patients, including infants and children, had lost their lives when the Young Doctors Association (YDA) went on a 37-day-long strike in 2011 to press the government to accept their demands. And now, more than a dozen causalities have been reported since the Sunday last due to the strike of same group of doctors and the public anger against them is growing by every passing day.
The stance of the LHCBA on the strike seems contrary to the observations issued by the Supreme Court and the Lahore High Court during the hearing of different petitions against the doctors’ strike.
Muhammad Afzal, father of an infant, Fahad, who died in Mayo Hospital due to the strike, expressed displeasure over all the statements supporting the doctors.
“What lawyers will do if their family member becomes a victim of such butchers,” Afzal said with sobbing eyes.
PTI Ready to go to jail for doctors: Demanding the Punjab government withdraw cases against doctors, the Pakistan Tehreek-e-Insaf (PTI) has appealed to the Young Doctors Association to call off its strike.
Addressing a press conference on Tuesday, PTI Lahore President Mian Mehmoodul Rasheed said the party would stand by the doctors in their struggle for the fulfillment of their just demands and was even ready to go to prisons for them. However, he said, the YDA must end the strike to save patients.
Slamming the Punjab government, he said the issue of doctors was aggravated due to the inefficiency and stubbornness of the Punjab chief minister. He said that for nearly 100 million people of the province, there had been no health minister to look after the affairs of the important sector. He also said that had the CM listened to the problems of doctors, the issue would have not worsened.
To a question, he said the Punjab government must stop crackdown on doctors, withdraw FIRs against them and fulfill their demand regarding their service structure.
PTI Lahore leaders, including Zaheer Abbas Khokher, were also present.