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December 13, 2019

Islamabad hospitals to observe three-day mourning


December 13, 2019

Islamabad: Doctors, nurses, paramedics, and non-technical staff of all federal government hospitals in Islamabad will observe a three-day mourning to condemn the murder of cardiac patients at the hands of unruly lawyers involved in the December 11 armed attack and ransacking of Lahore’s Punjab Institute of Cardiology (PIC).

“We will continue to record our protest against the heinous act of terrorism. We will perform our duties with black armbands while hospital flags will remain at half-mast; however, patient care will continue uninterrupted, without any kind of discrimination whatsoever” reads a joint communique released by Islamabad’s medical fraternity, which staged a protest at the Pakistan Institute of Medical Sciences (PIMS) Thursday to express outrage over the dark incident. Black Day was observed in all hospitals, with doctors’ associations of PIMS and Poly Clinic holding protest rallies to condemn the “barbaric incident,” which they said, “finds no parallel in any part of the world.” “Where in the world do armed lawyers attack a hospital’s Intensive Care and Emergency Wards and remove the oxygen masks of cardiac patients so that they choke to death? Where in the world do lawyers prevent doctors and other hospital staff from performing their life-saving duties? Where in the world do the custodians of law damage public property, infrastructure, and hospital equipment for their own vested interests?” the protestors questioned.

The protesters urged the government to ensure provision of adequate security arrangements within hospitals and to immediately enact legislation in this regard.

“The writ of the state must be established, and exemplary punishment must be awarded to miscreants involved in the attack. This was not an attack on patients and doctors, but on the writ of the state. And regrettably, it was perpetrated by none other than the custodians of law,” Chairman of the Young Consultants Association Dr. Asfandyar Khan pointed out. He said, “If this is the kind of New Pakistan that Imran Khan had envisioned, then we were better off without such change (tabdeeli).”

The speakers said those who attacked PIC were not lawyers as “lawyers have fought our cases pro bono; they were terrorists and vagabonds shrouded as lawyers and we will see to it that they are punished for attacking the law and the law enforcement agencies. If the government cannot protect its citizens, it should step down.” They also hoped that senior and “sane” lawyers who acknowledge the gravity of the action taken by their community, would raise their voices against the incident, and would distance themselves from those who have tarnished the very image of their profession.”

The protest was addressed by chairman of Young Consultants Association Dr. Asfandyar Khan, President of Young Doctors Association Dr. Fazle-e-Rabbi, spokesman Dr. Arif Hussaini, President of Young Consultant Association of PIMS Dr. Mehboob, Chairman of AEPRM Sharif Khattak, as well as Saeedullah Jan Marwat, Riaz Gujjar and Nawaz Lali.

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