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January 24, 2015

Father wants son’s treatment abroad


January 24, 2015

PESHAWAR: Having lost one of his sons in the December 16, 2014 terrorist attack on the Army Public School and College, Muhammad Nawaz has been running from pillar to post to save the life of his injured second son.
“It has been almost 40 days that my son Ahmad Nawaz is under treatment at the cardiovascular ward in the Lady Reading Hospital in Peshawar. He is in severe pain and in need of specialized medical care,” Muhammad Nawaz told The News.
Though calm and composed despite losing his younger son Haris Nawaz, a student of class eight, in the militants’ attack on the army-run school, Muhammad Nawaz at times becomes agitated as he narrates his family’s ordeal and the unfulfilled promises made by the federal and Khyber Pakhtunkhwa government to him and other bereaved families that lost their children in the school attack.
“I have been told personally and have learnt through the media that medical boards constituted by the federal and provincial government have recommended that my son would benefit if treated abroad. I am now waiting for the official nod to take him abroad. If it doesn’t happen, I have already spent Rs250,000 on his treatment and will sell my property and raise donations to send him abroad,” the elder Nawaz said.
The lack of a focal-person in the province, centre and even in the military has made it difficult for the affected parents to seek guidance and help for solution of the problems they are facing in getting their injured children treated and for seeking compensation for the dead and the wounded.
The affected families finally got invited to the Chief Minister’s House recently to meet the ruling Pakistan Tehreek-e-Insaf (PTI) Chairman Imran Khan and inform him about their suffering. Some of the parents had earlier protested against Imran and the PTI-led provincial government for showing indifference to their plight. This prompted the PTI government to prematurely observe the Chehlum of the slain 134 schoolchildren

and 12 teachers and other employees, declare a public holiday and arrange a meeting of the parents with Imran Khan. Some of parents poured their heart out as they narrated their woes.
Muhammad Nawaz annoyed Chief Minister Pervez Khattak when he told Imran Khan that he would like him to make whatever commitment he wanted to make with the affected families as he didn’t trust the chief minister. “I was pushed by Pervez Khattak later. Former provincial minister Shaukat Yousafzai also made inappropriate comments and I and several other parents left the meeting and protested outside the Chief Minister’s House,” he recalled.
He said certain PTI leaders were wrong in alleging that opposition political activists were among the parents who staged protest on the occasion of Imran’s visit to the Army Public School. “Only parents of the martyred students and the “ghazis” who survived staged the protest. The protest wasn’t planned but was spontaneous,” he insisted.
He maintained that the “Shuhada and Ghazi Forum” set up by the parents in memory of their martyred children and also for the survivors has no political agenda and was simply a forum to keep alive the sacrifices rendered by the families. “We are seeking justice for our children. We want to know the progress being made in investigating the school attack and punishing those behind it,” he stressed.
However, Muhammad Nawaz who is a committed worker of the PML-N now wants to put every controversy behind him and focus on the treatment of his son Ahmad Nawaz, who is a student of class nine. “Ahmad Nawaz was hit by a bullet in the left arm and he lost much blood before he could be shifted to the hospital. He was lucky to survive as he managed to run to the dressing room behind the stage in the school auditorium when the terrorists were busy in their killing spree,” he said.
According to Muhammad Nawaz, the medical board headed by Prof Dr Riaz Anwar Khan, head of the Department of Cardiovascular Surgery, Lady Reading Hospital (LRH) and Dean of the Post-Graduate Medical Institute (PGMI), had recommended seeking second opinion about Ahmad Nawaz’s treatment.
He said the LRH chief executive in his accompanying note referred to Dr Riaz Anwar’s comment that the patient would benefit from second opinion and management abroad. “Dr Riaz Anwar told us it will take 18 months for Ahmad Nawaz to get free from pain when his nerves have healed. How can we wait so long for my son to be treated?” he asked.

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