Lahore: The Human Rights Commission of Pakistan (HRCP) has expressed serious concern over the police beating up doctors in Lahore on Sunday and in general over the ongoing standoff between doctors working in public hospitals and the authorities.
The Commission said in a statement on Monday: “HRCP is alarmed by the beating of doctors by the police on Sunday in Lahore where several doctors were injured and wishes that the long protesting medical professionals could have been dealt with without resorting to the use of force. HRCP believes that peaceful assembly and protest is one of the paramount human rights in any society which must not be curtailed. Although wielding their batons is the standard crowd control procedure for the police, it is exceedingly disappointing that a non-violent way could not be found to tackle the doctors if, and it is a big if, they were posing any threat to public peace. To the utter dismay of the citizenry and civil society the doctors-police standoff in Punjab has become a near monthly affair now and it is the people who have been paying the price, in the form of intermittent suspension of health services by the doctors pressing for their demands and blockage of roads in demonstrations or scuffles between the police and the doctors. HRCP reminds all concerned that this is not a vendetta and must not be treated like one.
The authorities must engage the doctors constructively and without further delay and find a way out of this deadlock now. The police beating up the protesting doctors has understandably disgusted the advocates of peaceful pursuit of all legitimate demands and the violence must be probed in an impartial manner. Those sanctioning beating up of doctors should be punished for their actions forthwith.”