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Friday, June 17, 2005

In memory of Karin Grech

Murad M. Khan MD, MRCPsych. from the Aga University in Karachi, Pakistan served as a medical doctor in Malta in the late seventies during the dispute between Maltese doctors and the Government of the day. He was on duty on the night of the murder of young Karin Grech, an event which remained imprinted on his memory. In this piece he recalls the event that had a lasting and "profound effect" on him:

In Pakistan when I found out that Malta required doctors I was unaware of any problem on the island nor did I know the background to it. I only wanted to get out of Pakistan before the Army caught hold of me, put me in uniform and post me on some outpost on the foothills of the Himalayas! So when the opportunity to work in Malta came along I grabbed it with both hands.

Karin Grech was fifteen years old. She was the daughter of the Professor Grech- head of the department of Obstetrics & Gynecology at St. Luke's Hospital and one of the few doctors who retained his position at the hospital. Karin had been studying in England but had come home for her Christmas vacations. A few days before Christmas someone sent her father a parcel bomb. Karin happened to open it. In the middle of the ward round on the surgical floor we were told to rush down to the casualty..…..Sitting alone in my room that night, going over the events of the day, I tried desperately to make sense of what I had witnessed. Try as I might, I could not. I was confused, angry, sad, depressed and numb. And I cried..

.. it was fate that had taken me from Pakistan, brought me to Malta and made me rush down to the casualty ward of St. Lukes Hospital on that fateful day. Surely it couldn't have happened all by chance or mere coincidence? But what was the moral, what was the lesson in this for me? Indeed, was there one?

Today, as I practice psychiatry in Pakistan, dealing with human suffering of a somewhat different kind, the time I spent in Malta seems a distant past. Yet I am frequently reminded of my brief, but fateful encounter with the brave young Maltese girl who in her death gave me a lesson for life.

This link comes via Chronic Chronicles of a Chronie

Justice must be done - from Maltastar

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