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Protesting doctors clash with Islamabad police outside PMC building

More than 20 doctors were arrested during the protest. (Source: Dawn)

ISLAMABAD: A protest by doctors against the government’s decision to make the National Licensing Examination (NLE) mandatory for registration turned violent on Tuesday after the medical practitioners and the police clashed outside the Pakistan Medical Commission (PMC) building.

According to details, the young doctors were protesting outside the Pakistan Medical Commission (PMC) building and were chanting slogans against the National Licensing Examination and the PMC president.

The protest turned violent when the police resorted to baton-charge and fired tear gas at the demonstrators, prompting some of them to barge into the PMC building.  Later, the young doctors started pelting stones on the police and the PMC building.

According to a statement from the Young Doctors Association (YDA), the police have arrested detained around 20 doctors and dispersed the remaining through the use of force.

The Young Doctors Association then issued an ultimatum to the government to order the release of the arrested doctors. They threatened to go on a countrywide strike if the police kept the doctors under detention.

Meanwhile, the police in a statement said the protesters attempted to break into the PMC building and vandalise the property. “Some miscreants pelted police with stones and as a result, SP Saddar Zone was injured,” the statement added.

The statement further said tear gas was used to stop and disperse protesters and to prevent damage to the government property. “Peaceful protest was the right of every citizen but damage to the government property could never be allowed,” it added.

Talks between DC Islamabad and doctors’ delegation

The Deputy Commissioner of Islamabad has agreed to release the arrested doctors, under the condition that the doctors will leave the protest area after the release of the arrested individuals.

A five-member delegation is holding talks with Islamabad DC. According to the DC, the doctors have demanded a meeting with Special Assistant to the Prime Minister on Health Dr Faisal Sultan. “After the cabinet meeting, the doctors will arrange a meeting with the SAPM”, stated the commissioner.