QUETTA – Balochistan Chief Minister Nawab Aslam Raisani on Tuesday asked protesting doctors to end the strike and resume their duties.

Talking to media persons during his surprise visit to Sandeman Civil Hospital Quetta and Combined Military Hospital (CMH), he said doctors should call off their strike and resume their duties. He said he would only ask doctors to call off their strike unconditionally, adding all-out efforts were being made to recover kidnapped doctor Saeed Khan.

Earlier, the CM met with the patients and inquired after them. He thanked the CMH administration for providing medical facilities to the patients hailing from various parts of the province.

On the other hand, despite lapse of 40 days, the strike of doctors continued throughout the province for the recovery of the kidnapped doctor.

Health Secretary Asmatullah Khan Kakar said scrutiny had been initiated against the doctors possessing the MBBS degrees obtained from Afghanistan, Vienna and Russia. He said that after the suspension of striking doctors, the emergency of all government-run hospitals had been reopened and doctors were providing treatment to the patients.

He said the fake degrees obtained from Vienna, Russia and Kabul were not acceptable and scrutiny in this connection had been initiated.

He added that under the directives of the chief minister, there would be no relaxation for the protesting doctors who would have to explain their unprofessional and unjustified attitude.

Meanwhile, Pakistan Medical Association (PMA) Central President Dr Sher Shah and Provincial President Dr Sultan Tareen have said the PMA has never refused to hold negotiations with the government, adding the strike would continue until the acceptance of its demands.

Addressing a joint press conference at the Quetta Press Club, they demanded recovery of Dr Saeed, Dr Din Muhammad Baloch and Dr Akbar Marri, reinstatement of suspended doctors, withdrawal of forces from Civil Hospital Quetta and cases against doctors. They reiterated that if these demands were not accepted, they would not call off strike.

They pointed out that 27 doctors had been martyred so far and 16 abducted. They lamented that instead of resolving doctors’ problems, FIRs were registered against them; they were sent to prison and subjected to violence. They said the severity of the issue of doctors was also noticed by the chief justice of Pakistan and the chief justice of Balochistan.

They asked the government to compensate the doctors who had paid ransom money for their recovery and guarantee that if in future any doctor was abducted, the government would pay ransom money.

Agencies add:  In another development, the Balochistan government has decided to expel the striking doctors from official residences after their refusal to resume their duties.

According to the government sources, the decision was made at a late night meeting of provincial high-ups. The officials, on this occasion, said the on-strike doctors would be driven out of the government residences.

Meantime, Quetta Deputy Commissioner Hashim Ghalazai and the assistant commissioner sent a heavy contingent of police to Civil Hospital of the city to reopen its emergency ward.

Health Secretary Ismatullah Kakar said if young doctors did not come to their duty places, they would be sacked. He also cancelled deputation of Young Doctors Association (YDA) President Dr Abdus Samad Panezai at Jinnah Postgraduate Medical College, besides withdrawing job orders of the on-strike house officers posted at Civil Hospital and Bolan Medical Complex. The provincial home department also imposed a ban on the on-strike doctors to enter the government hospitals.