KARACHI: Medico-Legal Officers (MLOs) can give better results in investigating terrorism cases if they are allowed to perform their duty with independence and professionalism, a Senior Medic-Legal Officer on condition of anonymity told PPI on Tuesday.
He said Medico-Legal Department is an important part of health department but unfortunately the role of MLOs could not be recognized in our society, properly.
He said MLOs play great role in investigating criminal cases and they can produce better results in investigating legal cases if they are allowed to perform their duties freely.
He said MLO’s report containing the cause of death, time of death, nature of death, and other details compiled on an official form at the time of autopsy. He said MLOs can provide direction in handling terrorism-related cases, including those of bombings and targeted killings.
In Pakistan, especially in Karachi the MLOs are facing many challenges in performing their duties in public hospitals. They face threats from political groups and even some law enforcing elements in dealing high-profile cases, he added.
He said in a recent incident, an MLO Dr Shahzad Ali of Jinnah Postgraduate Medical Centre was thrashed by the officials of law enforcement personnel at his home, who deleted the data on his laptop and also took away his cell phone and documents.
On other hand, MLO Dr Kaleem Sheikh, while talking to PPI, said MLOs compile reports on terrorism and criminal cases purely on facts and figures by examining the autopsies. He said generally there are no threats to MLOs in performing duties at their workplace but sometimes they faces issue in dealing what he called high-profile cases.
He informed that medico-legal departments have been established in nine government-runs hospital of Karachi including Abbasi Shaheed Hospital, Jinnah Postgraduate Medical Centre and Civil Hospital Karachi.
Senior Medico-Legal Officer of Civil Hospital Karachi Dr Aftab Ahmed Channar said authorities concerned should provide security guards to MLOs at workplace, and increase their allowances and provide conveyance or transport facilities to them.
He said MLOs’ job is very sensitive and the provincial government should provide them security guards in order end insecurity prevailing among them.