Doctors in Pakistan protest at killing of colleagues
- By: Zarar Khan
More than 50 prominent Karachi doctors staged a six hour hunger strike on Saturday 30 March in protest at the targeted killing of fellow doctors in Pakistan. And the Pakistan Medical Association, angered by the government's apparently uncaring attitude towards the killings, called for a countrywide strike on 8 April.
Doctors have been calling for adequate security for some time. This year, 13 doctors, most of them of the Shiite sect of Islam, were killed in Karachi, and 270 have been killed countrywide since 1997.
The hunger strike was the second attempt by Karachi doctors to get the authorities' attention. A strike throughout the province occurred on 22 March. It proved ineffective, however, even though all government hospitals--except for their emergency units--remained shut.
Police and doctors believe that the recent spate of attacks on doctors is part of a campaign being waged by religious extremists, mostly of the mainstream Sunni