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October 6, 2019

PPP leaders flay KP govt for using force against doctors, paramedics


October 6, 2019

PESHAWAR: Backing the medical community in Khyber Pakhtunkhwa, the Pakistan People’s Party (PPP) on Saturday condemned the Pakistan Tehreek-e-Insaf (PTI) government for arresting and torturing doctors and paramedics who were staging protest for acceptance of their demands.

Speaking at a news conference on Saturday, the PPP central information secretary, Dr Nafisa Shah, said the use of force against the doctors and other medical staff and putting them behind bars was deplorable.

PPP senator Rubina Khalid, provincial president of the party’s women wing, Nighat Orakzai, Khyber Pakhtunkhwa general secretary, Faisal Karim Kundi, Farzand Ali, Shazia Tehmas, Meher Sultana, Saima Umar, provincial president of the Doctors Forum, Dr Nisar, and others were present on the occasion.

Nafisa Shah said the PPP was not against the health reforms, but it would not allow ruining the service structure of health employees in the name of reforms.

She maintained that Prime Minister Imran Khan was pushing the health system towards destruction. The PPP leader said it was the responsibility of the government to provide free medical treatment to citizens at the state-run hospitals, but the PTI government was trying to run affairs of the health department on a commercial basis.

She expressed concern over the extension of the Khyber Pakhtunkhwa Actions (in Aid of Civil Power) Ordinance, 2019 to the entire province.

She recalled that the PPP government had abolished the Frontier Crimes Regulation (FCR) from the tribal areas, but the incumbent government was trying to impose it on the entire province.

Faisal Karim Kundi came down hard on KP Information Minister Shaukat Yousafzai for insulting the doctors by terming them “pakora” (snacks) sellers.

He argued that “pakora” sellers were respectable citizens as they worked hard to earn livelihood for their families.

The PPP leader demanded the National Accountability Bureau (NAB) chairman to respond to their application which they had submitted against one of the most controversial mega projects, Bus Rapid Transit (BRT) in Peshawar.

Senator Rubina Khalid condemned the government for torturing and arresting the doctors, saying it was the democratic right of the medical community to stage protest but the “selected” PTI government snatched this right from the people.

She said the so-called champions of reforms and change had deceived the nation through hollow slogans. She wondered as to why the NAB was silent over the corruption of the PTI ministers.

The rulers, she said, were making tall claims but the NAB should probe the mega corruption in Billion Tree Tsunami and BRT projects. She said they were not opposed to accountability but the process should be across-the-board.

“The political victimization of the PPP and other opposition leaders is not acceptable to us,” she said, adding, her party had never bowed before any dictator in the past and won’t do so in future despite arrests.

Nighat Orakzai claimed the PTI government had made life miserable for the people during the first year of its rule. She alleged the ministers were misusing their position for personal interests. Meher Sultana said the people have realized the double standards of the PTI rulers and they could not be deceived any more.