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June 24, 2019

Dean Nowshera Medical College accused of nepotism


June 24, 2019

PESHAWAR: Dr Jehangir Khan, who was recently appointed as Dean, Nowshera Medical College (NMC) without codal formalities and approval of the Board of Governors (BoG), has advertised all positions on “walk-in-interview” basis in the institution allegedly to recruit his near and dear ones, well-placed sources told The News.

“Dr Jehangir Khan knows that he will soon be sent home as he was illegally appointed as Dean NMC by chairman Board of Governors Gulrez Hakim Khan without advertising the position and without approval of the board members,” said a senior official of the Khyber Pakhtunkhwa Health Department.

At the NMC, the BoG members suspected foul-play earlier when they were prevented from selecting the chairman until Gulrez Hakeem Khan joined them and got this position.

When Gulrez Hakeem Khan allegedly started bypassing the BoG members and violating rules and regulations while taking important decisions related to the medical college and hospital - Qazi Hussain Ahmad Medical Complex - all the BoG members showed no-confidence in him and replaced him with Malik Riaz Awan as chairman.

However, he approached the Peshawar Court High which restored him as chairman BoG. The BoG members claimed they tried to persuade Gulrez Hakeem Khan to follow rules and get all his decisions approved by the BoG, but to no avail.

After his restoration as chairman, the board members never attended any meeting.

Gulrez Hakim Khan is now calling the shots by single-handedly making all decisions about the institution. Some of his well-wishers are seriously concerned that he might face the consequences for his decision.

According to faculty members in NMC, Dr Jehangir Khan was supposed to retire from service on June 7, 2019 but he secured the position of Dean though the chairman BoG. He has been accused of violating all rules and regulations set by the Medical and Teaching Institutions Reforms Act 2015, usually referred to MTI Act 2015.

“If the government didn’t take over the college and its teaching hospital in Nowshera, he will appoint his blue-eyed people on the advertised positions,” a faculty member of the college told The News.

He has already appointed his daughter Quratul Ain as office assistant and his son as demonstrator. He is said to be planning to appoint one Suleman Khan as electro-medical engineer.

Dr Jehangir confirmed his daughter’s appointment but he argued that she was married and was not dependent on him.

“He is in a hurry to fill these posts and avoid codal formalities. On a position in medical education section he wants to select one Nizam though he does not have any qualification related to medical education,” said the faculty member.

There were allegations that Dr Jehangir has changed the job description of all the posts as mentioned in the recruitment manual to benefit his favourites.

“No one is here to stop these serious irregularities. When posts are filled with incompetent people then the institution will suffer for quite a long time,” the faculty member pointed out.

Gulrez Hakeem Khan, a contractor by profession who also used to provide furniture to hospitals, was made chairman of the BoG for NMC last year.

He claimed to be an old activist of the Pakistan Tehreek-e-Insaf (PTI) in Nowshera. He is believed to be close to former chief minister Pervez Khattak.

According to senior PTI circles, Gulrez Khan Hakeem had decided to contest election from his native Nowshera against the brother of Pervez Khattak in the by-election.

As Gulrez Hakeem Khan belongs to an influential family in Hakimabad in Nowshera, Pervez Khattak allegedly convinced him to withdraw in support of his brother Liaqat Khattak and promised to compensate him when the PTI came to power. It is believed Pervez Khattak played a role in making him chairman of the BoG for Nowshera Medical College.

The PTI government in order to introduce reforms in the health institutions and ensure merit-based decisions had passed the Medical Teaching Institutions Reforms Act 2015 (MTI Act 2015) and declared nine hospitals and medical colleges as MTIs to be managed by the respective boards. The board members were to be selected through search and nomination committee.

Health Minister Dr Hisham Inamullah Khan told The News they would soon take action concerning the NMC.

A senior government official, however, said the government would cancel the advertisement for jobs placed by Dr Jehangir Khan.