Oct 12: Islamabad The National Assembly’s ongoing session concluded on Oct 11 with no news about passage of the amendment bill for separation of the Pakistan Institute of Medical Sciences (PIMS) from Shaheed Zulfiqar Ali Bhutto Medical University (SZABMU). The relevant ministry’s assurances to this effect were dismissed by protesters Wednesday as “a repeat of the government’s tradition of deceit.”
“The Minister for Capital Administration and Development Division (CADD) Dr. Tariq Fazal Chaudhry promised us Oct 10 to get the summary of the bill signed by the Prime Minister. That too has not happened,” spokesman of the All Employees’ Movement for Restoration of PIMS Dr. Asfandyar Khan regretted.
The All Employees’ Movement for Restoration of PIMS will hold a press conference today (Thursday) to serve a deadline for the government to now issue a Presidential Ordinance for resolution of the matter. A meeting will also be held with faculty members and representatives of all other protesting wings of the hospital to devise a future plan of action, with numerous options on the cards.
The government’s lackadaisical approach on the issue is only adding fuel to fire as the protesting doctors, nurses, paramedics and non-medical staff of PIMS are getting more and more resolute in their demand, with the miseries of patients also correspondingly increasing. The protesters crossed the hospital boundary Wednesday and temporarily blocked the main road in from the hospital before staging a sit-in for speeches.
Addressing the protectors, Dr Asfandyar said, “We have always remained peaceful, and in the last few days, have also seen patients while continuing our struggle. The government has not given us a positive response thus far, compelling us to take our peaceful protest to the main road. We will be forced to completely change the contours of this strike, should the government continue with its antics.” He expressed satisfaction over the Young Doctors’ Association also announcing its support for the protesters, and thanked professors for participating in the strike, assuring them that their struggle would bear fruit.
Representatives of various political parties also visited PIMS on the 10th day of the strike as a show of support with the protesters. Meanwhile, thousands of patients returned home disappointed due to closure of services at PIMS. A majority of the protesters was hopeful of a positive response from the government but claimed having been disappointed once again owing to its failure to fulfil any of its promises. “We will not give in, come what may,” they chanted in unison.
Published by Daily The News on Oct 12, 2017