LAHORE, Feb 19: Funeral prayers for Dr Ali Haider and his son Ali Murtaza, who were shot dead on Monday, were offered at a Gulberg Imambargah on Tuesday.
Both were later laid to rest at a local graveyard amid echoes of mournful cries, tears and in a state of shock.
A number of medical teachers, doctors, paramedics, relatives, friends and even some patients of the slain senior doctor attended his funeral prayers. Retired judges, bureaucrats and parliamentarians were also present.
The police took strict security measures during funeral prayers and intensified patrolling in the area.
Various medical associations and doctors in other districts also offered funeral prayers.
Meanwhile, scores of doctors organised a peaceful rally from the Governor’s House to the Punjab Assembly in protest. Wearing black armbands, the doctors were demanding immediate arrest of the killers and announced that they would pursue the investigations. The rally was organised by the Pakistan Academy of Family Physicians and Surgeons.
The health institutions witnessed a state of grief and sorrow on the second day of the incident. The doctors at the teaching hospitals all over the province discharged their duties in a state of mourning and observed ‘Youm-i-Soug’ on the call of the Pakistan Medical Association. They paid a rich tribute to the eye surgeon and condemned the gruesome murders.
Post Graduate Medical Institute (PGMI) Principal Prof Anjam Habib Vohra said Prof Syed Ali Haider was a great human being and a sound professional. He was believed to have restored the vision of hundreds of visually-impaired people.
He said Dr Haider’s opinion was respected in case of eye-related complications. “It is unfortunate not only for the PGMI and the LGH but also for the general public that such a kind-hearted professional had been brutally murdered,” Prof Vohra said.
He appealed to Chief Minister Shahbaz Sharif to immediately give financial assistance to the family of the doctor keeping in view his excellent services for humanity. He also demanded security for his family.
The Outdoor Department of the LGH remained closed on Tuesday. The patients admitted to the Eye Ward were sad to hear the news.
The PGMI doctors and the LGH paramedical staff held a protest rally on Hali Road after Dr Haider’s funeral prayers and demanded arrest of the culprits.
Former Allama Iqbal Medical College Principal Prof Dr Javed Akram said Dr Haider would hold a free eye camp at his native town Haveli Lakha every year for the poor patients and distribute eye lenses worth around Rs1 million.
He said a large number of deserving patients had been deprived of a dedicated and caring doctor.
The Young Doctors Association, Punjab announced that it would observe black day at all state-run health facilities in the province on Wednesday (today).
Shaikh Zayed Hospital chairman/dean Prof Dr Zafar Iqbal called an emergent meeting and condemned the murder of Prof Haider and his son. Senior faculty members and other staff offered ‘fateha’ for the departed souls.