SAHIWAL: During his short visit to Sahiwal, Chief Minister Usman Buzdar ignored the matter of ongoing strike of the doctors at the DHQ Teaching Hospital that entered seventh day on Sunday.

Sixty-two senior professors and 113 young doctors remained on strike and kept the outpatient department (OPD) completely shut for the seventh consecutive day over their demand of removal of Sahiwal Medical College Principal Prof Dr Muhammad Tariq.

During his stay in city, the CM chaired a closed-door meeting with district and divisional administration at the Circuit House but, according to sources, the issue of closure of DHQ Teaching Hospital, the biggest hospital of the division, was not discussed.

PTI rival groups exchange words during CM’s visit to Okara

During the meeting, Mr Buzdar said provision of the basic necessities to the citizens was the top priority of his government. He said the purpose of his surprise visit was to get first-hand information about the cleanliness, sewerage, law and order, traffic management and campaign against dengue in the city.

Muhammad Ali Chohan, the PTI ticket holder who received CM at the Circuit House, said the issue of hospital strike was not discussed in a meeting and the CM had not shown any intention of visiting the hospital.

A section of locals believed the local administration kept the CM blind to the issue and he just took a briefing on the law and order. Commissioner Nadeemur Rehman, Regional Police Officer Humyoun Bashir Tarar and District Police Officer Muhammad Ali Zia briefed him on security and other matters.

The CM did not meet with the press in Sahiwal. Many senior journalists believe the media was not called because the journalists would have asked the CM questions about the DHQ hospital issue, which the administration did not want to be raised.

Dawn learnt from the sources in the Young Doctor Association that nobody from the administration had approach them for any negotiations.

OKARA: Chief minister Usman Buzdar says the work and efficiency of the provincial ministers are regularly evaluated and any change or ousting would be based on their performance.

He was talking to the media here at the Civil Rest House during his stopover for Asr prayers on his to Lahore from Multan.

Mr Buzdar said the heads of the market committee (MC) would be appointed after the consultation with the PTI workers in the district. A trauma centre, posting of a neurosurgeon and an ENT specialist would be filled soon.

The CM said the making of south Punjab province was under consideration from all aspects.

Earlier, two groups of the PTI exchanged harsh words after the workers complained that the ticket holders were close to the district administration and police and they (workers) were not given ‘any importance’.

At this, according to PTI leader Ashraf Khan Sohna, the CM called Law Minister Raja Basharat to make a visit to Okara to resolve differences between the PTI workers and ticket holders.

The CM avoided the query regarding the steps the government was considering reading JUI-F Azadi March, saying the decision would be made at the right time.

The PTI senior worker Chaudhry Azhar Mehmood, Sheikh Shaukat Ali, the assistant advocate general, Mirza Zulfiqar advocate, Mian Abdul Rashid and Chaudhry Saleem Sadiq were also present.

Published in Dawn, October 7th, 2019