Dozens of doctors protested and blocked traffic on Hall Road on Wednesday after Mayo Hospital Additional Medical Superintendent (AMS) for Security Dr Tariq ijaz allegedly threatened and assaulted Young Doctors Association (YDA) Pakistan General Secretary Dr Salman Kazmi.
The protesting doctors blocked the road from 5:30pm to 6:30pm and dispersed after talks with a senior police official.
Dr Kazmi told The Express Tribune that Dr Ijaz had called him to his office after he had sent out text messages referring to a report in this newspaper about the departure of a senior doctor to the federal government after an altercation with the Mayo Hospital AMS.
“He said I was causing trouble by sending out text messages. He also accused me of leaking the story to the press,” he said. Dr Kazmi said that he responded by telling Dr Ijaz that he would take up the matter with Medical Superintendent Dr Zahid Pervez and got up to leave the room.
“Tariq Ijaz lost his temper and slapped Kazmi,” said a hospital official who witnessed the incident. He said that there were five other men in the room who were friends of Dr Ijaz. “They were armed and pointed guns at Dr Kazmi.” YDA members Dr Talha Shirwani, Dr Rana Sohail and Dr Khuda Bakhsh later reached the spot. They said they had heard Dr Ijaz abuse and threaten Dr Kazmi. They had also heard two of the armed men threaten to kill Dr Kazmi.
“Tariq Ijaz walks around in the hospital with a holstered gun. He slapped the general secretary for sending text messages to fellow doctors about a story in a newspaper. This is a severe form of tyranny which we cannot let pass,” said Dr Shirwani, who is chairman of the YDA Pakistan.
The YDA demanded that an inquiry be conducted into the incident and the AMS be sacked. They said that if he was not suspended within 24 hours, the doctors would plan a protest.
Dr Kazmi filed a complaint at the Mayo Hospital police post, but no FIR had been registered when this report was filed at around 8:30pm.
Dr Pervez, the medical superintendent, said that he was looking into the matter.
Dr Ijaz could not be reached for comment.
Separately, the Pakistan Medical Association condemned the incident as “administrative terrorism”. “AMS Dr Tariq Ijaz is running administrative matters at gun point … The [violence against Dr Kazmi] with the help of criminals from Gowalmandi is intolerable,” said a PMA statement. The association urged the chief minister to order an inquiry and suspend the AMS.
Published in The Express Tribune, September 13th, 2012.