QUETTA - Asking protesting doctors to show flexibility, Balochistan Health Secretary Asmatullah Kakar has said that the government is ready to resolve all legitimate issues of doctors, including providing them security.

He stated this while addressing a roundtable discussion under the title ‘Doctors protest and problems of people’, organised by Quetta Press Club, here on Sunday.

The event was attended by people hailing from different segments of society including doctors, journalists, lawyers, social workers and traders.

The Health Secretary said the government was concerned about the security of doctors and a plan was being evolved to provide security to doctors during a meeting with doctors but they could not reach a final decision.

He said that every citizen had right to record his protest in accordance with law, however, he said that doctors violated red zone during their protest upon which action was taken against them. “Doctors had announced holding strike in emergency wards during Muharram due to that the administration had to take the control of emergency wards,” he said, adding, that if government had not taken timely action a third group could further spoil the situation. He asked doctors to end their strike and come to dialogue table to resolve all issues, and as far as doctors security and other reservations were concerned, the government was bound to fulfil them.

Earlier, addressing the function, Pakistan Medical Association Balochistan leader Doctor Sadat Khan Tareen said that restoration of suspended doctors was never the demand of doctors. “We are not safe. We were ill-treated by police even shells of tear gas were fired on us. We were incarcerated and badly treated,” he added.

He said that doctors were even not safe in hospitals and they had to perform their duties in an atmosphere of threat and stress but Health Department never bothered to address doctors grievances.

Tareen said that doctors would continue their strike until and unless their genuine grievances including that of security were accepted. He also criticised government for legislating bill against the doctors who protest for their rights.

President Press Club Saleem Shahid said that masses were badly suffering from doctors strike and asked the doctors and government to settle the issue through dialogue keeping in view the interest and miseries of people.

President Anuman-Tajiran, President Quetta Chamber of Commerce, President Balochistan Union of Journalists and representatives of lawyers community and Human Rights Commission also took part in the discussion.