Abuse of blasphemy laws: Pakistan Medical Association stands behind accused doctor

Members concerned over the incident in which Dr Willani was accused, beaten and arrested on charges of blasphemy.

Express December 14, 2010

KARACHI: Members of the Pakistan Medical Association (PMA) in Karachi have said they are extremely concerned over the incident in Hyderabad in which Dr Noushad Ahmed Willani was accused, beaten and arrested on charges of blasphemy.

Addressing a press conference to show support for Dr Willani on Monday, PMA Sindh focal person Dr Habibur Rahman Soomro said if this continues and doctors are not protected, it would become impossible for health workers to continue working in the province. “This situation is intolerable and action is required immediately.”

PMA Sindh members warned that they would start a campaign against the pharmaceutical company whose medical representative “staged the dirty campaign” against the family physician.

However, they appreciated the police, saying its role in protecting the doctor from the mob was commendable. They appealed to Chief Minister Qaim Ali Shah to intervene and take immediate action against the criminals involved.

Talking to The Express Tribune, Dr Soomro said fanatics or extremists like the Taliban have been trying to take over the country and they have the full support of religious and right-wing political parties. “The blasphemy act has many flaws in it. The PMA is not against the act but we want legislators to review it and remove its loopholes otherwise this new trend of implicating any citizen will spread.”

The incident was staged at the behest of a medical representative who tried to hurt Dr Noushad Ahmed Willani, he said.

The PMA has investigated the case and found that Dr Willani had asked the medical representative to come later because he was busy with patients, which angered him. So on personal grounds, he provoked people against the doctor for allegedly committing blasphemy, said Dr Soomro.

Co-chairperson of the Human Rights Commission of Pakistan Iqbal Haider, former information minister Sherry Rehman, the Karachi Port Trust’s labour federation, Pakistan Fisherfolk Forum chairman Muhammad Ali Shah and War Against Rape representatives joined the PMA at the press conference.

Former PMA general secretary Dr Samrina Hashmi told The Express Tribune that the association has made the following demands to the government, including complete protection for Dr Willani and his family and the arrest and trial of the culprits who have fabricated the blasphemy plot against the doctor. She said the PMA has also demanded that doctors be included in essential services.

Published in The Express Tribune, December 14th, 2010.


Mohammed Abbasi | 12 years ago | Reply Islam has been replaced with Mullahism and this is a very high form of Blasphemy in itself - shame on Pakistanis for not knowing the difference between worshipping Allah and following the Mullah
rashid | 12 years ago | Reply good the PMA has come up with thr right proposal and action. but mere press conference is not going to yield anything. this time some action wud be worthwhile. and the false accuser should be given an exemplary punishment so that such accident are not repeated in future. buy anyway kudos to the PMA,HRC and other who raised voice for this cause....
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