PTI govt vows no mercy for attackers

Punjab law minister says PM Imran has ordered an inquiry to ascertain the reasons behind the incident

​ Our Correspondent December 11, 2019

LAHORE: The Punjab government on Wednesday pledged not to spare the lawyers involved in the attack on the Punjab Institute of Cardiology, saying that it would not give in to pressure from bar associations to withdraw the cases registered against the rioters.

“There will be no concessions [for the attackers]. The government will make sure of that,” Provincial Law Minister Raja Basharat said at a news conference where he was flanked by Health Minister Yasmeen Rashid and Information Minister Fayazul Hassan Chohan.

“All lawyers and others identified in the video footage of the attack will be prosecuted,” Basharat added.

The minister said hospitals were not attacked in any society no matter what the circumstances were. “Not only were the doctors harassed, but the patients were also roughed up. This is unacceptable.”

The minister said the lawyers and doctors were held in high regard but nobody could be allowed to take the law into their own hands. “It is necessary to bring this culture of high-handedness to an end.”

Basharat said that besides taking legal action against the attackers, Prime Minister Imran Khan has also ordered an inquiry to ascertain the reasons behind the incident.

He added that a probe would also be conducted into whether or not there was any negligence on the part of police. “This situation had been developing since November and some people did not take the appropriate circles into confidence and inform them about it. There is a separate inquiry under way into that.”

Chohan, who was earlier thrashed by the protesters when he reached the hospital to mediate between the two sides, maintained that the PML-N was behind the violence at the medical facility.

“A known PML-N activist was present among the lawyers who attacked me,” he claimed. “That party activist can be seen in several photos with Maryam Nawaz and Hamza Shehbaz.”

The minister added that a list of PML-N activists involved in the attack had been shared on social media. “The PML-N is creating unrest in the city as part of a conspiracy.”

Chohan said he was instructed by Chief Minister Usman Buzdar by the phone from Islamabad to visit the hospital and play a mediating role between the two sides.

Dr Yasmeen Rashid said that those involved in the rioting and vandalism on the hospital premises would be identified through CCTV footage.


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