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Islamabad

January 13, 2015

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No breakthrough yet in recovery of kidnapped newborn

Islamabad
While police investigations are currently underway, there has been no breakthrough yet in recovery of the newborn who was kidnapped from the MCH Centre of Shaheed Zulfiqar Ali Bhutto (SZAB) Medical University, Pakistan Institute of Medical Sciences (PIMS), two days ago.
Some private channels flashed news about the kidnapped child’s dead body having been recovered from outside the MCH Emergency on Monday. SZAB Medical University-PIMS Vice Chancellor Professor Javed Akram strongly contradicted the unauthenticated news, as well as all statements attributed to his person by some electronic media.
Talking to this scribe, Professor Akram said, “There appears to have been some kind of misunderstanding.” He maintained that the kidnapping case it appears has been mixed up with the case of a still-born child (weighing 1.4 kgs) whose dead body had been kept for handing over to his parents. “Since the father of the child was initially not traceable, I advised that the baby’s DNA samples should be taken for laboratory confirmation of identity. This is a routine procedure in such cases,” Professor Akram said. The VC also stated that the dead body of the stillborn child has been handed over to his parents, including the father who subsequently arrived at the hospital, and that the child has been taken for burial.”
Meanwhile, there has been no progress so far in the recovery of the kidnapped child. The inquiry committee has already submitted its findings and recommendations to the VC. Talking to this scribe, the head of MCH Centre Dr. Zahid Larik, who was one of the members of the fact-finding committee, termed the unfortunate event “a planned kidnapping.” He said the unidentified woman who is suspected to have kidnapped the child, cultivated friendship with the child’s parents and attendants. “She brought food for them, as well as new sheets and other gifts. The woman is suspected to have mixed some sedative into the juice that she

offered to the child’s mother and aunt. That’s how she managed to abduct the newborn.”
Dr. Zahid said personnel from the Intelligence Bureau and the Police visited PIMS to record the statements of staff, nurses and doctors. He termed the abduction a “security lapse.” As such, the committee has not made any startling disclosure that was not writing on the wall already.
The fact is that a child has been kidnapped from PIMS and nothing substantial has been done so far, either for the child’s recovery, or for preventing another child from being kidnapped from the hospital in pretty much the same fashion. Not a single doctor, nurse, or ‘aya’ has been held responsible for the incident. No heads have rolled; they never do. Evading responsibility has been become the hallmark of medical practice in Pakistan. This is so, largely because there is no one to question the conduct of medical professionals, or to remind them of their basic duties. As such, even if a dozen children end up being kidnapped from PIMS this year, hospital administrations will at best form inquiry committees to show that they care, which they obviously do not!
The December 16 tragedy should have been enough to shake hospitals out of their current mode of complacency. There is every possibility of healthcare institutions being on the hit-list of terrorists; yet it seems unbelievable that no measures have been taken to augment security arrangements in a big public hospital like PIMS. It appears that the government will act only after the unfolding of yet another human tragedy; this time in a hospital.
A visit to the Armed Forces Institute of Cardiology, which also remains inundated with a sea of humanity every single day, reveals a ten-fold increase in security arrangements ever since the Army Public School tragedy. Visitors are subjected to a thorough body search and their identity cards are scrutinised at least four times before they eventually step into the hospital premises. Even everyday visitors and attendants are turned away if they are not in possession of their ID cards. The premises is heavily guarded from the outside, with numerous security cameras affixed within.
In short, visiting a patient at AFIC appears very difficult, which is how it should be in current times of turmoil and terror. So long as AFIC is seen by the public as having done its best to protect the lives of patients and visitors, all else can then be left to the Almighty. Such, unfortunately, is not the case at PIMS, which continues to present itself as an ideal ground for perpetuation of terror.

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