The Pakistan Islamic Medical Association (PIMA) has strongly condemned the use of state force, infliction of torture and arrest of young doctors in Punjab and has demanded their immediate release.
In a statement issued here on Tuesday, the central president and general secretary of PIMA, Dr Misbah-ul-Aziz and Professor Sohail Akhtar, respectively, have held the government responsible for the crisis. “We consider the government primarily responsible for this crisis because it delayed acceptance of the just demands of doctors, and put fuel to fire by beating and arresting them. Even the blame of strike has to be partly taken by the government, which brought the situation to such a stage,” they said.
Doctors across Pakistan support their Punjab colleagues’ demand for regularization of their services structure, which has been overlooked for quite sometime. “PIMA demands of the government and the protesting doctors to end this crisis through negotiations. The government should accept the doctors’ demands, release those arrested and penalise those involved in torturing the protesting doctors. The doctors should return to work while keeping their pressure intact. Intensification of forceful means, including treating arrested doctors as criminals and barring family members and colleagues from meeting them, as is happening in Punjab, will obviously add-on to doctors’ anger and will not solve the issue,” the statement points out.
PIMA has also requested the media not to scandalize the issue. “They should not escalate the blame game. Rather, they should report facts only and discuss the issue in its totality in a justified and rational way, which should help rather than worsen the situation,” they said.
PIMA will join hands with PMA and other doctors’ associations in finding a sensible solution to this crisis. The Punjab chapter of PIMA is already in touch with its colleagues.