Cure crime: Doctors angered over the abduction of colleague

The protesters said that it is impossible for doctors to carry out their work in unsafe environment.


Express November 21, 2011

SUKKUR/KARACHI: In an act of solidarity for fellow professionals, doctors, students and paramedic staff from public sector medical colleges and hospitals in Sukkur took to streets on Sunday to protest against the kidnapping of two doctors from the neighbouring city of Jacobabad.

They shouted slogans against the government, marched through the main thoroughfares of the city and staged a sit-in at Minara road. Hundreds of healthcare workers from Ghulam Mohammad Mahar Medical College (GMMMC) Sukkur, Civil hospital Sukkur and other hospitals joined them in the protest. The demonstration was led by the joint secretary of the Pakistan Medical Association, Dr Usman Mako, the president of the GMMMC Teachers Association, Dr Rafiq Memon, and the president Pakistan Islamic Medical Association, Ghulam Rasool Ghumro.

The leaders of the rally strongly criticised the government for its failure to protect the lives of the people. They said that crimes such as kidnapping, highway robberies and thefts have been on the rise during the tenure of the current government and that they will continue to boycott their duties daily for two hours until the kidnapped people are safely recovered. The doctors also threatened to widen their protests to other parts of the province if the police did not rescue their abducted colleagues soon.

The kidnapped doctors, Prof. Dr Imtiaz Ali Wagan of Dow Medical College in Karachi and Dr Azhar Ali Shah of GMMMC, went missing on Sunday afternoon when they were returning from Jacobabad to Sukkur.

They had gone to Jacobabad to meet their friend and were on their way to Sukkur to conduct an exam at GMMMC. However, they never reached their destination and their vehicle was found near vegetable market Jacobabad.

The SSP Jacobabad Zafarullah Dharejo confirmed the incident and told The Express Tribune that police had no information about the possible location of kidnappers. He said that law enforcers are trying their best and are hopeful that the doctors will be recovered soon.

The incident also caused uproar amongst the doctors of Karachi. At a meeting held at the Arag Auditorium of DMC, the vice chancellor of the Dow University of Health Sciences, Prof. Masood Hameed Khan, said that doctors could not work in such an unsafe environment. The principal of the Sindh Medical College and Pro Vice Chancellor of DUHS, Prof. Umar Farooq, said that no FIR had been lodged against the kidnapping as of Monday morning.

Published in The Express Tribune, November 22nd, 2011.

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