LAHORE: Amid NA-120 by-elections, where different groups, associations and alliances are showing support for their favorite candidates, the doctors practicing in the NA-120 constituency have come to support Pakistan Tehreek-e-Insaaf (PTI) candidate Dr Yasmin Rashid, Pakistan Today has observed.
As doctors are not allowed to take part in political activities by virtue of being government servants, they have adopted the strategy to convince their patients to vote and support the PTI candidate. However, the retired doctors don’t fall under such restrictions.
Dr Yasmin Rashid, who herself is a renowned practicing doctor and had been serving as the president of Pakistan Medical Association (PMA), has clout among the doctors community.
A lot of different important buildings are located in the area, including a score of public and private hospitals like Mayo Hospital, Sir Ganga Ram Hospital, Munshi Hospital, Data Darbar Hospital, Lady Aitchison Hospital and dozens of medical centres. These hospitals and medical centres are daily visited by hundreds of patients.
On the condition of keeping anonymous, sources said that a famous doctor, belonging to family which is running a famous ice cream parlour at Bedin Road, Lahore, sponsored and arranged the meeting of doctors’ group with Dr Yasmin Rashid at the political office of Punjab former Governor Miaz Azhar. “Doctors at meeting not only assured of convincing their patients but also take part the campaign by supporting it financially,” said the sources.
Sources further revealed that many of the doctors already had sponsored the banners and flexes of Dr Yasmin Rashid displayed in the constituency.
A medical officer at Mayo Hospital and member of Young Doctors’ Association seeking anonymity confirmed Pakistan Today that the doctors community unanimously have decided to support Dr Yasmin Rashid, saying that the PTI candidate knows better how to resolve the issues of the people. “Dr Yasmin is not just the PTI candidate but a candidate of the doctor community. We support her thinking it as our duty to partake in the betterment of Pakistan,” he added.
Talking about legal binding over government servants to take part in political activities, he said that doctors are also citizens of Pakistan and every citizen should have the right to participate in political activities like the people do in the west.
Another doctor running his clinic at Temple Road, told Pakistan Today that he was never approached by any leader of PTI but he was convincing his patients for Dr Yasmin Rashid. “Most of the patients of the area are fully aware that they were contracting diseases due to poor sanitation system in the constituency. Therefore, they easily get my point regarding favouring the PTI candidate,” he said, adding that people must chose an educated and a sincere candidate like Dr Yasim Rashid.