40 Karachi doctors receive emails for extortion, PMA

Karachi: President Pakistan Medical Association (PMA) Karachi chapter Dr Muhammad Idrees Adhi Wednesday revealed that 40 doctors of Karachi have received emails from ‘extortion mafia’ to pay hefty ransom money.

He expressed these views while addressing a press conference at PMA House Karachi. The press conference was held to raise the issue of rising cases of kidnapping, harassment, killing of doctors and health workers in Sindh province, especially Karachi city.

General Secretary PMA Karachi Qazi M Wasiq, Citizens Police Liaison Committee (CPLC) Chief Ahmed Chinoy and SSP AVCC Azfer Ali were also present.

Dr Idrees said extortionists receive extortion money through cash transfer schemes of cell phone companies. He urged the government to introduce check and balance system on money transferring.

He informed that 130 doctors had become victim of target killings since 2010 in the country. He said medical fraternity does not want creating problems by holding protests and strikes. He said doctors have decided to record their protest through media as they need protection and want punishment to culprits.

He said now the situation is getting from bad to worse for doctors and carrying out their duties in such circumstances has become difficult. He said Karachi police is cooperating with the doctors and their services are highly commendable.

He said over 40 doctors belonging to Dow University, Aga Khan and Liaquat National hospitals have received emails from the extortion mafia, recently. He said some extortionists also made calls from South Africa, Afghanistan, Dubai and tribal areas, asking doctors to pay extortion.

He said on doctor, Dr Syed Nabeel Uddin, was killed in Gulistan e Jauhar area on other day. He said an ENT specialist has gone missing from Bannars area. He said families and children of doctors are also receiving threats from the extortion mafia.

Dr Qazi M Wasiq said with the start of targeted operation in Karachi, the doctor community was hopeful that they would get proper security, but unfortunately this does not happen. He said doctors are being killed, kidnapped and harassed. They are receiving threats and extortion letters along with bullets.

He said not only the doctors but other health workers are also being targeted by the criminals. He said Dr Asif Hussain Zaidi was killed on 18th January 2014 and three polio workers were killed during the line of duty.

He said PMA has been struggling for getting passed the Health Commission Bill from Sindh Assembly for quite some time, but to no avail. He said bills against wall chalking are being passed but the government and legislators seem not serious to give protection to the medical practitioners. He said Health Commission Bill would address the issues being faced by doctors and their patients.

CPLC Chief Ahmed Chinoy assured that the PMA that the kidnapped doctors would be recovered soon. He said three groups were involved in extortion and a few of their members have already been arrested due to the efforts of CPLC. He said a group was also operating in South Africa having the list of wealthy doctors of Karachi. He said some doctors have already paid extortion money. He said efforts are under way to arrest the extortionists operating from South Africa.

He, however, claimed that crime rate has been declined by 50 percent in city in last few months due to the targeted operation.

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