Dr. Saad Khalid Niaz returns Civil Award to register protest for ignoring HCPs


Announcement of Civil Awards on Independence Day
Dr. Saad Khalid Niaz returns Civil Award
to register protest for ignoring HCPs
Taking this extreme step, he has conveyed
the sentiments of thousands of healthcare
professionals from all over the country
Over two hundred doctors, nurses, and
paramedics have died while managing Covid
patients but authorities have not recognized
their selfless service and sacrifices

KARACHI: Dr. Saad Khalid Niaz an eminent gastroenterologist of the country has returned his Civil Award to the Government of Pakistan as a protest for ignoring the healthcare professionals while announcing Civil Awards on Independence Day. Earlier he had contacted the President of Pakistan to draw his attention to this negligence and requested him and the Government to make an announcement that this issue will be looked into. However, since no such statement came from the Government, he decided to return the Civil Award he had been presented few Years ago as a protest.

Dr. Saad Khalid Niaz, it may be mentioned here has been providing his services in honorary capacity at one of the Surgical Units of Dow University of Health Sciences for the last many years, teaching training and performing sophisticated interventional procedures in the field of gastroenterology. It was in recognition of his selfless services that the previous Government of Pakistan had honored him with this prestigious award. By doing so, Dr. Saad Khalid Niaz has in fact expressed the sentiments of thousands of doctors and other healthcare professionals who have similar feelings. The authorities have just been content with clapping for these frontline workers against Covid19 Pandemic saving thousands of precious lives working in Intensive Care Units, High Dependency Units and wards where Covid patients were admitted. They did not care for themselves, their families who all were at a greater risk and a large number of them did got infected, and some facing serious complications as well.

In a communication addressed to President Dr. Arif Alvi on September 2, 2021. Dr. Saad Khalid Niaz has stated that:

“I feel extremely disappointed that despite requesting you and those suggested by you, there has been no response or action from the Government’s side further vindicating my stance that medical fraternity’s efforts and sacrifices against the menace of Covid19 were sadly and disappointedly ignored in the recently announced presidential awards.

I only requested you and those suggested by you to give a statement to recognize their services and sacrifices made by the entire medical fraternity and assurances to look into this in the next year’s awards and was hoping that some positive words would be said to the doctors, nurses and other paramedical staff. I am sure you would agree that the claim of our government of success against Covid would not have been possible without sacrifices of the medical fraternity.

While there seems to be recognition of all walks of life in the recent awards, only two doctors, both from the province of Sindh and only one fighting Covid is extremely disappointing and shows the lack of respect and appreciation of those involved in these awards.

I received Tamgha-e-Imtiaz on 23rd March 2013 in recognition of my pro bono services since 2006 in advance endoscopy at Civil Hospital Karachi. I am humbled and grateful to the Almighty for this recognition. However, seeing how more than two hundred of my colleagues who gave their lives have been ignored along with many more who worked day and night to save the Nation’s health, I really don’t feel I deserve to keep this award. We play the role of Massehas and I am sure will be rewarded in the hereafter if we work honestly to please Allah which actually is the real reward. I had mentioned to you clearly that if no action is taken I would have no choice but to return my Tamgha-e-Imtiaz back.

With a heavy heart and strong conscience I would like to return my award as a protest against what I feel is complete failure of the government in recognizing the real heroes from the field of medicine in the recent announcement of presidential awards. I may appear to be the only one taking this extreme step but I am sure I am representing thousands of my colleagues all over the country. May Allah reward all my colleagues here and in the hereafter? Ameen. I am returning my citation certificate with this letter. Please let me know how the award should be sent to you”.

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