Dr. Saif ur Rehman
SHAFAQNA (Shia International News Association)
So far, no good has come of the self-proclaimed “naya Pakistan” (new Pakistan) of Imran Khan, which has brought change for the worse in Pakistan. Destruction has been set into motion in Pakistan. One of the most bleak aspects of naya Pakistan is the institutional crisis it has created. We have seen that parliament and other state institutions became the target of defamatory attacks by Imran Khan in the name of this new Pakistan. As a doctor, I was expecting that, in his naya Pakistan, he would have a health agenda for Pakistan and a comprehensive health programme and policy while starting a debate to raise the GDP ratio of health to 10 percent of the national budget. That we would talk about climate change and its hazards to human health. No, I was wrong. In Mr Khan’s naya Pakistan there is no health agenda, programme or policy for the nation. In fact, there is slandering and humiliation for noble professions and the medical fraternity.
Now he has levelled allegations against one of the most prestigious institutions of the medical sciences in Pakistan, the Pakistan Institute of Medical Sciences (PIMS), by saying that the administration of the hospital hid 17 dead bodies following the terrible incidents that took place on August 30 and 31, 2014. The PIMS administration categorically rejected his baseless allegations. In order to keep my readers updated, let me review the history of PIMS regarding better patient care, helping humanity and tackling disasters.
PIMS has successfully managed major disasters like the Ojhri Camp explosions, flash floods, earthquakes and innumerable terrorist attacks over the years. For the Pakistan Tehreek-e-Insaaf (PTI) and Pakistan Awami Tehreek (PAT) sit-in, PIMS has ensured clean drinking water and made sure there is round-the-clock medical cover for the protestors since the start of the protest. Imran’s statement has not only caused anguish to PIMS but it has also hurt the doctors’ fraternity across the country. What does he want to say? Does he mean to imply that doctors are body snatchers?
The medical profession is a noble one but Imran Khan has not spared this profession from his baseless allegations. While his vitriol against politicians is his own business, at least he could have spared members of a profession who seek to serve humanity irrespective of race, religion, caste, creed, colour or ethnicity. It is also very unfortunate that doctors’ associations like the Pakistan Medical Association (PMA), the Young Doctors Association (YDA) and others did not bother to condemn him when their profession was attacked. I urge the leaders of medical and doctors’ associations to raise their voice against Imran Khan’s verbal assault on the profession as it is a matter that directly impacts the doctors fraternity.
It is tragic that those who serve humanity are under attack while the people who do nothing for anyone but themselves are applauded as heroes when they spread half-truths and baseless allegations from their containers. On behalf of the medical fraternity, I demand an official apology from Imran Khan to PIMS and the medical fraternity at large for defaming this noble profession. He must apologise to PIMS for slandering its policies. Being a part of the PIMS administration I know the facts and I am proud to be part of Vice Chancellor Professor Dr Javed Akram’s team. I endorse his timely and appropriate rebuttal to Imran Khan’s baseless allegations against PIMS. I would like to pay rich tribute to the honourable vice chancellor for calling a spade a spade. I believe that by revealing the truth to the nation, Professor Akram has served the medical fraternity, democracy, Pakistan and humanity.
Imran Khan must apologise to PIMS, to the doctors’ community of Pakistan and to all other state institutions for levelling baseless allegations against them. He should also call off his theatrical event (which he calls a protest) and go to the flood-hit areas of Pakistan to help people in this difficult time. If he is allergic to Pakistani politicians and parliament and does not want to learn from them, he should learn a lesson from our neighbouring country. Indian Prime Minister Narendra Modi requested of his nation on the event of his birthday: “My humble request is do not celebrate my birthday. Instead, dedicate yourselves towards relief work in Jammu and Kashmir through your time and resources.” In my opinion, this would be a honourable exit for Imran Khan but it seems he will never understand this fact. As far as his future is concerned, I can only wish and pray for Mr Khan to think about our beloved Pakistan and prove himself a better politician and a more positive addition to Pakistan’s politics.