Weekly Bang-e-Sahar Saturday, May 17—-23, 2008
By Our Correspondent
GILGIT: The doctors’ community in Gilgit-Baltistan have strongly condemned the brutal killing of child specialist Dr Agha Jan and demanded that the government should give exemplary punishment to the culprits.
The Pakistan Medical Association and the Pakistan Paramedical Association Northern Areas held a protest meeting at the District Headquarters Hospital Gilgit to condemn the incident. Doctors of the hospital including its MS attended the meeting. The participants wore black arm-bands and raised slogans against the incident.
Speaking on the occasion PMA Northern Areas chapter president Dr Mohammad Hanif termed the killing of a doctor murder of whole humanity and announced to observe a three-day mourning in the region during which medical staff would perform their duties by wearing black arm-bands.
The doctors would not attend to patients in OPDs but continue to work in emergency units during this period. Through a resolution, the meeting demanded that a case should be registered against the killer under the anti-terrorism act and the culprits should be punished within 90 days. It also demanded proper security arrangements for doctors performing duties in the district headquarters hospitals and other health units of Chilas and Skardu.
Meanwhile, due to the protest of the doctors, hundreds of patients particularly those coming from far-flung areas faced hardship as functioning of all health centres including private clinics were affected for about three days.
In Hunza and Nagar, thousands of people participated in the funeral-in-absentia of Dr
Aga Jan. The mourners passed a resolution asking the government to hang the culprit within 72 hours otherwise their peaceful protest will turn into agitation. The speakers called it a target killing and criticized the role of local administration, agencies and other government authorities. Ghulam Mohammad, a leader of the PPP, Baba Jan, organizer Progressive Youth Front, Ikramullah Baig of the Gilgit-Baltistan Alliance; Bilal, President Contractors Association, and other community notables were among those who spoke on the occasion.
The incident also triggered a huge protest in Dr Jan’s ancestral village Aliabad. Local youth and
school students blocked the Karakorum Highway and burnt tyres to register their protest against the murder. The KKH remained blocked for all types of traffic for four hours. All shop, hotels, schools, colleges and offices of government and NGOs remained closed.
According to reports, the father of the killer had just been released after 14 years of imprisonment on the charge of killing three people. This also makes the situation grave and people are suspecting hidden hands behind the murder of Dr Agha Jan.