Dr Ali Haider: Friends, colleagues mourn ‘wonderful man, skilled surgeon’

Published: February 19, 2013

Dr Haider Ali died on the spot, while his son succumbed to injuries at a hospital. PHOTO: EXPRESS/FILE

LAHORE: 

Colleagues, friends and patients of Dr Ali Haider reacted with shock and sadness at the murder of the renowned eye consultant and his 11-year-old son Murtaza on Monday morning.

At Lahore General Hospital, where Dr Haider served as professor of ophthalmology, “a feeling of grief and sorrow spread all over … especially the patients admitted in his ward,” said Prof Anjum Habib Vohra, the head of the hospital. Nurses, paramedics and other staff were also shocked at his loss.

Dr Javed, an old friend and colleague of Dr Haider’s, said that his friends and patients were in a state of disbelief. “He was always very kind to his patients,” he said.

Family

Dr Haider had deep roots within the medical community. He was the only son of Dr Syed Zafar Haider, who retired as professor of surgery from King Edward Medical University. His mother Dr Tahira also served as assistant professor in KEMU, retiring in 1997, while his sister Dr Zara currently serves in the same post at the university. His father-in-law was renowned neurosurgeon Prof Raja Iftikhar Ali Khan, who died in a small plane crash near Multan six years ago. He was also the nephew of former Lahore High Court judge Syed Afzal Haider.

Apart from Murtaza, his son in class 7 who was killed alongside him on Monday morning, Dr Haider had a 15-year-old son, Asad, who is an O level student at Aitchison College. He also had a daughter around six months ago.

Ejaz, a KEMU employee and a close friend of Dr Ali Haider and his family for 20 years, told The Express Tribune that Dr Haider and his family were polite and humble and treated everyone well. Dr Haider’s mother had taught her maid’s son to read and write herself, he said.

He said that Dr Haider held a free eye camp in his native town, Haveli Lakha, every year where he distributed lenses worth around Rs1 million for free. The family had undertaken several development projects in the town as well.

As was the family tradition, he did his MBBS from KEMU. He spent some time in England before returning to Lahore to work at Mayo Hospital, where he stayed till he became assistant professor, colleagues said. He later moved to Lahore General Hospital. He also treated patients with retina tumours at Shaukat Khanum Memorial Trust Hospital.

Medical community

Doctors’ associations across the city expressed horror at the murder of the talented surgeon and his son. Prof Vohra, principal of the Post Graduate Medical Institute and LGH, said that the Punjab government must ensure that the perpetrators of the murders be arrested quickly and the remaining family members be provided security.

“This brutal act has not just deprived us of a very able and decent professional, but also a large number of patients of a skilful and kind-hearted doctor. This is an irreparable loss for a country like Pakistan which already faces a great shortage of professionals. The government must take immediate steps to prevent such tragedies and ensure the safety of such people who are assets of the nation,” Prof Vohra said in a statement.

“This is a national loss. We have lost a fine eye surgeon and a brilliant teacher,” said an official of the General Cadre Doctors Association.

Officials of the Pakistan Medical Association (PMA) and Medical Teachers Association Punjab held a meeting presided over by Dr Ashraf Nizami and decided to observe a day of mourning at all hospitals and medical institutions in the province on Tuesday. All members were urged to participate in the funeral prayers at 11am at his residence in Lahore, said PMA Secretary General Dr Izhar Chaudhary said.

Addressing a condolence meeting, GCDA President Dr Masood Sheikh said Dr Haider was a wonderful person whose services would not be forgotten. He demanded that the government devise a comprehensive national policy “to stop such events in future” and honour him by awarding him a Sitar-i-Imtiaz.

The Academic Council and teachers of Allama Iqbal Medical College held an emergency meeting where they condemned the murder and condoled with the family. Prof Abu Bakar, president of the Orthopaedic Association of Pakistan and Prof Azim Jehangir, president Medical Teachers Association also condemned the killing.

Dr Hamid Butt of the Young Doctors Association Punjab and Dr Salman Kazmi of YDA Pakistan also condemned the killing.

Published in The Express Tribune, February 19th, 2013.

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Reader Comments (32)

  • bilal
    Feb 19, 2013 - 10:31AM

    sad yet another failure of the government. what are we waiting for more killing.

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  • Baba Ji
    Feb 19, 2013 - 11:13AM

    what a waste of precious human life and talent … !!!!

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  • Ali Zaid
    Feb 19, 2013 - 1:29PM

    May Dr. Ali Haider be included in to the martyrs of Karbala. (Insha’Allah)
    My uncle Dr. Hassan Alam (MS of Govt. Hospital North Karachi & Head of Psychology at JPMC) was martyred on 22 January 2013 only because of his Shiite sect. The battle that begun in 61Hijra is continued till today. Every day a Hussaini is killed by some Yazidi hounds. Its time to realise that “Everyday is Ashura & Every Land is Karbala”

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  • Ammar Niazi
    Feb 19, 2013 - 1:29PM

    Its a great Loss for the whole country but unfortunately we are living in a country where the Government is corrupt and Incompetent,they should resign.Recommend

  • Ali Tipu
    Feb 19, 2013 - 1:33PM

    RIP!

    When a country is given to dogs to rule, this is what happens- the loss of precious life and talent.

    Hor Chuppo

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  • ZR
    Feb 19, 2013 - 1:42PM

    This is why talent flees from the country!!

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  • Abc
    Feb 19, 2013 - 2:30PM

    It not target its talent killing.

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  • m omar
    Feb 19, 2013 - 3:10PM

    Another trophy of our strategic assets…

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  • Israr-Sadozai
    Feb 19, 2013 - 3:31PM

    RIP sir

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  • Doctor
    Feb 19, 2013 - 3:47PM

    Oneday all doctors will leave Pakistan, US is happily opening more posts for doctors and so is UK and Far East Asia, because they value professionals.

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  • kaalchakra
    Feb 19, 2013 - 3:58PM

    “Another trophy of our strategic assets…”

    Please don’t bring your sectarian hatred into this. Most likely this is a case of personal feud.

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  • Uzi
    Feb 19, 2013 - 4:13PM

    Reading this just breaks my heart. What is to become of this country that we call our home. It’s ironic how our Shia brothers continue to be killed when the founder of this country himself was from the Shia sect of Islam. May Allah forgive their sins and their souls rest in peace. Amen!

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  • Another Pakistani ...
    Feb 19, 2013 - 4:39PM

    Very saddening! :(

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  • Pr0udPakistani
    Feb 19, 2013 - 4:40PM

    @kaalchakra..and what makes you reach this intelligent conclusion?

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  • Umair
    Feb 19, 2013 - 4:56PM

    he was our family doctor. He was one of the most selfless people I have ever met. Its extremely rare to meet such people in ones lifetime nowadays.

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  • Stranger
    Feb 19, 2013 - 5:44PM

    Sad loss to humanity

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  • confused
    Feb 19, 2013 - 6:10PM

    Protest outside Mr Sanaullah’s house?

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  • Iftikhar Khan
    Feb 19, 2013 - 8:13PM

    @kaalchakra:

    M Omar is right, and you are wrong. The evil of hatred is in your heart and in these ‘strategic assets’ heart and they should be uprooted and destroyed. I am a sunni and so probably is m omar, and it is an insult to us to associate with the agents of devil and followers of Abu Jahel Taliban as sunni. They have to become human first before claim to be anything else.

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  • Feb 20, 2013 - 12:09AM

    May Allah protect Pakistanis and wake them up to the evil of the violent takfiri mullahs!

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  • Anita Turab
    Feb 20, 2013 - 3:13PM

    Strategic assets continue to murder civilians and children and yet the government and the military bow before them to carry on with their loot and plunder. I hope and pray the same fate befalls the perpetrators of such a horrible crime. To kill a child is unforgivable.Recommend

  • Dr. Rabia
    Feb 20, 2013 - 5:49PM

    May their souls rest in peace. i find no words to express my sorrow as my eyes are flooding with tears while writing and realizing this loss of precious gems not only to their parents but to the whole nation. O´Allah who will come to tell them that we are all Muslims above all sects and casts,,,,,,,,,,and when u go to a doctor he never asks u of which sect or cast u are before treating u then y are u so brutal to such sacred professionals.

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  • Syed
    Feb 20, 2013 - 7:29PM

    @kaalchakra:
    Common, for you it is personal feud ? And what about hundreds of other doctors and teachers, and thousands of Hazaras killed in target killings and bomb blast, is this all personal feud for you?

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  • sri1
    Feb 20, 2013 - 11:25PM

    @kaalchakra:
    Omar had it perfectly right with his statement,
    “Another trophy of our strategic assets”
    He meant the backfiring of the policy of using faith and militants for some hazy “strategic depth”.
    With a name like Kaalchakra (Sanskrit for Wheel of fate) you are implying that this is not sectarian hatred at all? Just a personal feud?
    You must be delusional – Hazaras and Shias of all hues are being targeted left and right – and such professionals are prime targets.

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  • Mohammad fateh Shahzad
    Feb 21, 2013 - 12:39AM

    Ali haider was such a gentleman. Both his father and mother are my teachers. They thought and trained many many doctors. I cannot imagine the intention and goals of taking such an innocent and precious life. Dr. Zafar and dr. TAHIRA you have lost your son. No can replace him. But you have many many sons and daughters all over the world who stand beside you on this day of sorrow.
    This needs to stop, otherwise no professional will stay in Pakistan as they get much better salaries , respect and security of life abroad. This needs to stop. People of Pakistan need to wake up, take a stand and fight for their rights and freedom.
    Fateh Shahzad MD USA

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  • Jawad
    Feb 21, 2013 - 1:58AM

    Great loss for a country like Pakistan. But I think that’s what we deserve. The piece of mind we have, with no thinking of our own and just following the rising sun, we can’t do much about things. People mix their religion with politics. see you will find a lot of religious comments even above. Shias relating it to Karbala, Sunnis getting hard over it. We see religion being discussed at even unrelated places, this must be the end then for people like us. We don’t have our own minds to think that its humanity we should support. And we shouldn’t fight over the issues with no solution at all. And keep our religious bonds to ourselves not to show he world thats we are pious people or we belong to a certain group of faith. Thats how tolerance develops and thats how successful countries are surviving. Please become good Pakistanis, keep your religion and your emotions to yourself. For the sake of humanity, for the sake of this poor, afflicted country. please people

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  • Anonymous
    Feb 21, 2013 - 3:05AM

    What good will a Sitara-I-Imtiaz do to him or his family now? The only way to really honour him is to stop the massacre. And, it’s complete to even claim that the Pakistani Army cannot deal with a bunch of sectarian militants, which, when compared to the Army, do not equal the size of fly!

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  • Faisal
    Feb 23, 2013 - 2:25AM

    What started with the Hindus, Sikhs and Muslims moved on to the Qadianis, has spread to the Shias and soon the Sunnis will be fighting among themselves. Who will save us from ourselves?

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  • ALI AALA RIZVI
    Feb 24, 2013 - 9:48PM

    I MET HIM 1982 WHEN HE WAS STUDENT AT KEMU.HIS SISTER WAS MY STUDENT
    I WAS TEACHING CHEMISTRY TO HER.EVERY ALTERNATE DAY I VISITED THEIR HOME TO TEACH HER.TOO MANY TIME HE OPEN THE DOOR,HE WAS VERY NICE AND VERY RESPECTFUL,I WAS ALSO STUDENT AT GOVT.COOLEGE OF SCIENCE.I REMEMBER HE WAS VERY NICE,HIS FATHER WAS ALSO VERYNICE.

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  • GhostRider
    Feb 25, 2013 - 10:09AM

    @kaalchakra:
    Stop siding with sectarian outfits and grow out of your “Yeh marney waley musalman nahi ho sakte”

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  • Asim Khan
    Feb 26, 2013 - 12:14AM

    Inna Lillahi wa inna ilaihi raji’un – May Allah Bless his soul.

    Dr Haider, twice operated my eyes and he was one of best eyes specialist in lahore. He is great loss for Pakistan. Unfortunately, his killers will not be captured nor any justices for his family. May Allah help our nation to become sensible enough to save our people like Dr Haider who are assets in our Pakistan.Recommend

  • Imran ghani
    Mar 11, 2013 - 3:34PM

    Sir pl give me your private clinic address and ph number I want to visit next week it’s about my son obaid ur rehman his age 9 months he has severals problems thaks and regards

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  • Muhammad Naveed Tariq
    Mar 16, 2013 - 2:05AM

    first of all i strongly condenmed this typ of brutal act..punjab govt. also liable for this..govt. has the connections of such type of people..y govt. can’t catch these people..i want to say the whole nation of pakistan, now this is time to b gether nd combat against these acts..May Allah soul his rest….

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