12/13/2019, 10.26
PAKISTAN
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Lahore Hospital, three dead due to lawyers' protests. 'Society in decline'

by Shafique Khokhar

The lawyers ransacked the Punjab Institute of Cardiology to avenge the alleged maltreatment of colleagues by healthcare personnel. The doctors are on strike and the sick are not receiving medicines. They "believe they are above the law".

Lahore (AsiaNews) - A society "in complete moral decline". This is how Michelle Chaudhry, president of the Cecil & Iris Chaudhry Foundation, comments on the clashes of recent days in Lahore, Pakistan.

A protest organized on December 11 by a group of lawyers in front of the Punjab Institute of Cardiology, led to the death of three patients admitted to that hospital, when doctors could not attend to them because they were defending themselves from the attack of the lawyers.

The lawyers devastated the hospital and the surrounding area, setting fire to some cars parked in the yard of the structure. Their wrath was due to the alleged maltreatment of some colleagues by healthcare personnel last month. The authorities have arrested at least 20 people involved in the protests.

Yesterday, the cardiac hospital remained closed due to a strike by doctors, in protest. The worst consequences are for the sick, who have not received medical care for days. Ms. Chaudhry condemns the violence "by people who are supposed to support and defend the law. The loss of precious human lives is the result of their devastation ".

The activist recalls that "attacking a hospital is considered a war crime, and therefore prohibited. The government must act against those responsible. It is the responsibility of the authorities to protect the life and property of every citizen. It's a really sad day for all Pakistanis who want a peaceful, tolerant and law-abiding country”.

For Bilal Warraich, an activist and lawyer from England & Wales, "the attack on the Lahore hospital reflects the mob mentality which has unfortunately permeated society far and wide. Every faction or organization has a fringe of hooligans. Taking the law into your own hands is the prevailing norm. They believe they are above the law, that they will never be punished. "

Finally, Kakkazai Aamir, researcher, points out that "the lawyers traveled six kilometers on foot to get to the hospital and no policeman stopped them. The incident shows that the government is unable to handle the situation ".

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