RECENTLY an ambulance carrying a Covid-19 patient had a head-on collision with a passenger bus at the Regional Cooperation Development (RCD) highway. As a result, four members of a family were killed, and three others were injured. Sadly, when the wreckage of the doomed ambulance was being removed by the authorities, they found 135kg of cannabis concealed in one-kg packets within the roof of the vehicle.
Smugglers across the country have found ambulances one of the safest modes for smuggling any illegal item to the big cities because these vehicles escape a thorough check at security check-posts. The drivers of these ambulances collude with the smugglers for a bit of money in return. Not too long ago, ambulances were being reportedly used to smuggle arms and ammunition to Karachi when the city was in the grip of violence.
I request the heads of the ambulance services and private firms to keep a watchful eye on their ambulances, staff and services. They must maintain the integrity and sanctity of their profession so that they do not lose nation’s trust.
The sufferings of the patients and their family members will increase if ambulances have to go through stringent security checks, like other goods transport vehicles, by security forces at each check-post.
Published in Dawn, January 5th, 2021