By Mushtaq Yusufzai (The News)
PESHAWAR: The banned Tehrik-e-Taliban Pakistan (TTP) has allegedly warned doctors of the public sector hospitals in Peshawar to stop wearing shirts and trousers or face suicide bombing.A senior doctor at the oldest public sector hospital of the NWFP ñ the Lady Reading Hospital (LRH) — told The News on condition of anonymity that they had received a letter from the TTP, asking doctors and all other medical staff to immediately stop wearing shirts and trousers or suicide bombers would target them at their institutions.
He said the chief executive of the LRH, after receiving the TTP letter on April 28, circulated the communication to the medical superintendent, deputy medical superintendents and other senior staff members of the hospital and directed them to take precautionary measures.
The doctor said the chief executive had mentioned in his circular that the TTP threat should be taken seriously, urging doctors and other staff members to stop wearing shirts and trousers. The staff member said the alleged TTP threat had sent a wave of shock among the doctors’ community.
Two other senior doctors at the Hayatabad Medical Complex and the Khyber Teaching Hospital (KTH) also confirmed receiving similar threats from the TTP. They said chief executives of all the three teaching hospitals directed their staff members, particularly doctors, to stop wearing shirts and trousers so that they could be saved from suicide bombers.
When reached by telephone, NWFP Secretary for Health Dr Sohail Altaf confirmed the threatening letters that were received by the hospital executives from unknown people. He said he too had received a copy of the letter, which he haddispatched to the NWFP police chief, Malik Naveed Khan, for investigation. Sohail Altaf said he did not believe the Taliban would have sent the letter.
The secretary said it seemed that certain elements had started terrorising peaceful citizens in view of the situation the people were facing these days. A senior doctor at the LRH said the threatening letter had created extreme panic and many doctors had stopped wearing the dress after the warning from the Taliban.
“It shows there is no writ of the government and Pakistan has become a Taliban state. It is a serious issue as the Taliban have practically started interferering into the personal matters of citizens and affairs of the government departments,” said a senior doctor at the KTH.