ISLAMABAD - Pakistan Islamic Medical Association (PIMA) has strongly condemned the use of state force, torture and arrests of young doctors in Punjab and sought their immediate release.

In a statement issued by the association, Central President Dr Misbah-ul-Aziz and General Secretary Prof Sohail Akhtar said doctors across Pakistan support their Punjab colleagues’ demand for regularisation of their services structure which has been overlooked for quite sometimes. “We consider the government primarily responsible for this crisis because it delayed acceptance of just demands of doctors, and put fuel to fire by beating and arresting them.

Even the blame of strike has to be partly taken by the government, which brought the situation to such a stage,” it said.

The association demanded of the government and protesting doctors to end this crisis by negotiation.

“The government should accept doctors’ demands, release those arrested and penalise those involved in torturing the protesting doctors. The doctors should return to work while keeping their pressure intact. Intensification of forceful means, including treating arrested doctors as criminals and barring family members and colleagues from meeting them, as is happening in Punjab, will obviously add-on to doctors’ anger and will not solve the issue’ it said.

Meanwhile, the young doctors of Pakistan Institute of Medical Sciences (Pims) observed black day to show solidarity with the doctors of Punjab by wearing armbands during their duty hours.

The representatives of Young Doctors Association, Federal at Polyclinic also protested in support of their colleagues inside the hospital. Addressing a press conference Dr M Ajmal, President YDA Federal urged the Chief Justice to take suo moto notice of the situation in Punjab and arrests of doctors. He said the doctors will wait for two days and if the apex court does not take any action they will march towards the Supreme Court. And if the situation does not improve they may consider to give a call of strike too in Islamabad.    

He informed that the doctors are also about to file a writ petition in the SC to challenge Article 16 of Maintenance of Public Order (MPO) under which the government   registered case against protesting doctors.