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YDA gives 72-hour ultimatum for minister’s removal

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Rawalpindi-The Young Doctors Association (YDA) leadership held an emergency meeting at Benazir Bhutto Hospital (BBH) on Monday and gave the government a 72-hour ultimatum to sack the Punjab Law Minister Muhammad Basharat Raja from his office for threatening the Medical Superintendent of the hospital for not reverting transfer orders of a female doctor belonging to an influential political family.

They also threatened to launch a protest movement across the province if the Chief Minister failed in taking action against the law minister. On the other hand, Provincial Health Minister Dr Yasmin Rashid took stern notice of the threatening call to Medical Superintendent Benazir Bhutto Hospital and sought a report from Rawalpindi Medical University (RMU) Vice Chancellor (VC) Prof Dr Muhammad Umar, informed official sources.

According to details, a meeting of Young Doctors Association (YDA) convened in Benazir Bhutto Hospital during which the participants vehemently condemned the provincial law minister for phoning Medical Superintendent Benazir Bhutto Hospital Dr Tariq Masood Khan Niazi and forcing him to revert the transfer orders of Dr Areeba Abbasi, the daughter of PML-N ex-MNA Muhammad Hanif Abbasi.

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The Young Doctors Association leadership said the government should remove the law minister from his office within 72 hours or else they would stage protest demonstrations across the province. They said the law minister should also seek apology from Medical Superintendent Benazir Bhutto Hospital Dr Tariq Masood Khan Niazi for his misbehaviour. Earlier, the doctors came in the hospital and imparted their duties in all the wards and in the Emergency Department while wearing black ribbons on their arms as a symbol of protest against the law minister.

Meanwhile, Dr Areeba Abbasi has tendered her resignation from the post of medical officer while citing political victimization as the reason.  According to sources, Punjab Health Minister Dr Yasmin Rashid also came into action after the telephonic conversation leaked on social media and directed the RMU VC to submit his detailed report of the incident.

Two days earlier, Provincial Law Minister Muhammad Basharat Raja had called Medical Superintendent Benazir Bhutto Hospital Dr Tariq Masood Khan Niazi and asked him to revert the transfer orders of Dr Areeba Abbasi, the daughter of politician Hanif Abbasi, and to post her again in the Skin Department.

However, the Medical Superintendent refused to accept the orders of the minister saying that he transferred Areeba on merit and according to law. On this, the minister got enraged and threatened to sack the Medical Superintendent for disobeying his instructions.

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