Kidnapping for ransom: Balochistan doctor’s 42-day ordeal ends

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Kidnapping for ransom: Balochistan doctor’s 42-day ordeal ends

Post  Bolan on Thu Nov 29, 2012 8:37 am

Dr Saeed celebrates with his family after ransom was paid for his release. PHOTO: ONLINE

QUETTA: A rare piece of good news emerged from strife-hit Balochistan, made rarer still given that it involved an abducted man returning home alive — that too, un-tortured.
After being in custody for 42 days, eye specialist Dr Saeed Khan of Layton Rahmatullah Benevolent Trust (LRBT) hospital was released on Wednesday.
However, the development had little to do with proactive law-enforcers, and was reportedly due to the payment of ransom to the kidnappers. On their part, police are still clueless about the abductors.
Dr Saeed’s abduction had sparked a Balochistan-wide strike by doctors against the government’s helplessness. He was kidnapped on October 16 from the Saryab Road area of Quetta while he was returning home from a local hospital.
However, despite his return, doctors vowed to continue their strike, pointing out that Dr Saeed was released after paying ransom and no intervention was made on the part of the government and security agencies.
Dr Saeed’s family confirmed that he had reached home safe and healthy Wednesday morning. They, however, did not provide details of his release.
Talking to the media after his release, Dr Saeed said he was unaware whether ransom was paid for his release and who paid it. He speculated that ransom must have been paid to secure his release. He thanked doctors for their support during his long ordeal.
Dr Saeed said he was kept in one place for the first four days of his abduction, after which he was rendered unconscious using a toxic agent mixed in his meal, and was then shifted to a different location.
“When I regained my senses, I found myself in a room made of bricks and stones, and I was only given bread and water,” he said, adding that he was unaware of the location.
He said target killings and kidnappings of doctors was a matter of great concern. He added that he did not know who the masterminds behind his abduction were and what they wanted from him.
Speaking to the media at Dr Saeed’s residence, Capital City Police Officer (CCPO) Mir Zubair Mehmood looked to put a positive spin on the development. He said that although ransom had been paid for the recovery of the previously kidnapped doctors, the police made maximum effort to ensure Dr Saeed’s recovery.
He said the police are probing the incident and would soon arrest the kidnappers.
Doctors’ reaction
Meanwhile, Pakistan Medical Association (PMA) Balochistan vowed to continue the strike until their demands are fulfilled.
President of PMA Balochistan Dr Sultan Tareen told journalists that doctors would continue the strike since Dr Saeed was released after paying ransom and no intervention was made on part of the government and security agencies.
He said that all cases registered against doctors should be withdrawn and suspended doctors should be restored immediately, only then would they decide to call off the strike. A few days ago, the government took notice of the medics’ strike, and not only suspended around 73 doctors but also withdrew their salaries and issued notices to immediately vacate their official residences.
Young Doctors Association (YDA), under the leadership of Dr. Amanullah Nasir announced to resume their duties at emergency.
Chief Minister Nawab Muhammad Aslam Raisani also visited Dr Saeed and congratulated him on his release.
Published in The Express Tribune, November 29th, 2012.

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