‘Lahore Lawyers Bring Shame as They Attack Hospital, Causing Suffering for Patients’


If Quaid e Azam Muhammad Ali Jinnah was alive today, that Inner Temple lawyer would have been ashamed and embarrassed at the behavior of lawyers in the city of Lahore. On December 12th, “hundreds of charged lawyers attacked the Punjab Institute of Cardiology (PIC), allegedly tortured doctors and attendants and damaged hospital property and forced the critical patients to rush for life, according to police and witnesses. The raiders were apparently on a mission to avenge a group of lawyers, who had been beaten up at the PIC a few weeks ago, soon after some video clips went viral on the social media showing some doctors making fun of the lawyers while recalling the incident. The outraged attackers, mostly young faces dressed in black suits and sporting neckties, spared no one present on hospital premises, where several serious cardiac patients are under treatment at any given time.”

As reported by Dawn, “there was chaos as beds were hastily dragged to hideouts, in a few cases the washrooms down the corridor away from the wards, after the mob carrying clubs and rods forced its entry into the government-run hospital. One of the known victims of the frenzy was Punjab Information Minister Fayyazul Hassan Chohan, who was manhandled when he arrived for damage control. Many journalists, including a woman, and police personnel besides attendants of the patients were also dealt with brute physical force. The attackers also snatched cameras from the journalists. The police acted on finding the information minister under attack by lawyers and fired tear gas, baton-charged before arresting many protesters. Fierce clashes broke out between the protesting lawyers and law enforcers after a police van had been set on fire. There were reports that some protesters in the mob carried weapons and fired into the air.”

As analyst and commentator Khurram Hussain asked in his latest column “Are we living in naya Pakistan or the Planet of the Apes?” According to Hussain, “What happened at the PIC on Wednesday is a stain on our collective humanity. After the Sahiwal killings, there was similar public revulsion, and a promise of ‘speedy justice’ from the prime minister himself. That was back in February. By October, however, all six policemen involved in that incident had been acquitted. The government promised to appeal. There has been no word henceforth. The incident has been quietly brushed under the carpet and everything has moved on. If the same thing happens in this case, the stain on our collective humanity will be permanent. Already the bar council stalwarts are gearing up for a fight with the government, and some ministers are keen to give this affair a political colour. Faisal Vawda, for example, claimed in a tweet that “these were the criminals at the behest of the PML(N)”.”