You have to stand guard over the development and maintenance of democracy, social justice and the equality of mankind in your own native soil. [Mohammed Ali Jinnah]

Tuesday, January 1, 2008

Medical personnel pressured into silence

Islamabad (The Washington Post): The authorities pressured the medical personnel who tried to save Benazir Bhutto's life to remain silent about what happened in her final hour and removed records of her treatment from the facility, the Washington Post reported Tuesday. The report said doctors who were at Bhutto's side at Rawalpindi General Hospital said they were under extreme pressure not to share details about the nature of the injuries she suffered.

“The government took all medical records right after Ms. Bhutto's time of death was read out,” said a visibly shaken doctor who spoke on condition of anonymity. Sweating and putting his head in his hands, he said: “look, we have been told by the government to stop talking.” Babar Awan, a top PPP official who said he saw Bhutto's body after the attack and identified two clearly defined bullet wounds -- entry and exit points. He said the principal professor of surgery at the hospital, Mussadiq Khan, was “extremely nervous, but eventually told me that Benazir had died of a bullet wound. Why was this man so nervous?” Awan said. “He told me firsthand he was under pressure not to talk about how she died.”

Reached at his home in Islamabad, Dr Khan declined to comment.

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