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October 10, 2017

BoG meeting at Banigala triggers controversy


October 10, 2017

PESHAWAR: A decision of the Board of Governors (BoG) of the Ayub Medical College Abbottabad to hold its meeting in Banigala, the residence of Pakistan Tehreek-e-Insaf Chairman Imran Khan in Islamabad, has triggered severe criticism from faculty members of the medical college as they believe the aim was to appoint a ‘blue-eyed’
person as chairman of the board.

Also, the faculty members as well as senior civil servants in Khyber Pakhtunkhwa expressed surprise over the recent decision of Chief Minister Pervez Khattak to fire three members of the BoG, including its chairman, and spare other members stated to be strong on the basis of their connections in PTI circles.

No reasons were mentioned in the notification for ousting the three BoG members, including its chairman Mohammad Javed Panni, Brig (R) Khalid Hussain and Col (R) Salahuddin. Insiders told The News that they were held responsible for ‘inefficiency, poor performance and violation of merit in major decisions’.

A senior official in the establishment department said that all the decisions are made by consensus of the board members and therefore it doesn’t make sense why only three members were punished.

Pleading anonymity, he said other BoG members who would continue to work were Dr Asim Yousaf, Najeeb Abbasi, Lt Gen (R) Asif Ali Khan and Tariq Khan.

The three new BoG members are Amir Mahmood, chief financial officer of Shaheen Air International Ltd, Junaid Mushtaq Qureshi, MBA, chief finance officer/director (Finance and Accounts), and Ahmad Siraj, a chartered accountant.

The sources said Pervez Khattak wanted to get rid of all the BoG members but some powerful people in the PTI saved the remaining members.

After termination of chairman of the board, the BoG members convened their meeting in Banigala to elect new chairman and introduce the three new members to the old ones.

The decision to hold the meeting in Banigala surprised senior government officials and faculty members of the college.

An official said there was no justification for holding the meeting at Imran Khan’s home.

He said some members wanted to hold the meeting at the college in Abbottabad, but the specific purpose of holding it in Banigala was to make Dr Asim Yousaf the BoG chairman. He said it was on Dr Asim Yousaf’s insistence that the meeting was held in Banigala.

He claimed some BoG members advised Dr Asim Yousaf not to repeat past mistakes and strictly and transparently deal with all complaints as per MTI Act 2015.

It would send a negative message if Dr Asim Yousaf is given the charge of medical college and its teaching hospital in Abbottabad as Dr Nausherwan Burki referred to as the de facto health minister of KP is already chairman of BoG of Lady Reading Hospital and Dr Faisal Sultan is chairman of BoG of Khyber Teaching Hospital in Peshawar. The three are either related to the Shaukat Khanum Cancer Hospital Lahore or in case of Dr Burki is a cousin of Imran Khan.

Senior government officials wanted the chief minister to take notice of the controversial decisions made by the BoG of Ayub Medical College Abbottabad.

The BoG had rejected all inquires conducted by the government against misuse of public funds and identification of serious flaws in five-storey building of gynaecology and paediatrics in Abbottabad and ordered making it operational.

“The contractor neither installed lift in this five-storey building nor cooling and
heating system,” said the official.

A senior official in Abbottabad told The News that the first violation of merit by the BoG was the appointment of a junior doctor as medical director. He said all rules were trampled when a female doctor was appointed as Dean AMC even though  she established private hospital in front of Ayub Medical Complex.

He termed it clear violation of MTI Act and conflict of interest. He also said that the lady doctor was charged in the inquiry conducted by the chief minister’s provincial inspection team and is now being heard in the Ehtesab Commission. He added that she is on bail and the same is the case of vice dean.

He said it was widely believed that ex-chairman of BoG Javed Panni and Dr Asim Yousaf in nexus with Hospital Director Maj (R) Siddique deliberately selected weak and unqualified people so they could serve their vested interests.

When approached, Dr Asim Yousaf confirmed holding of BoG meeting in Banigala, though he said it was convened there to introduce the new members with Dr Nausherwan Burki.

He denied lobbying for chairman BoG position, saying he was offered the post in the very first meeting two years ago but he declined.

He said that after his 23 years of service in Shaukat Khanum Hospital in Lahore, he wanted to help the KP government improve standard of its public sector medical and teaching institutions.


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