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PMA demands resignation of PMDC chief named in murder case

Association says Prof Masood Hameed has lost moral authority to head both PMDC and a public sector varsity

By Shahid Husain
July 08, 2015
The Pakistan Medical Association (PMA) has demanded the resignation of the president of the Pakistan Medical and Dental Council over his being nominated as a suspect in the murder case of a young doctor.
PMA Secretary General Dr Mirza Ali Azhar and Dr Shershah Syed told a news conference at the Karachi Press Club on Tuesday that the name of Professor Masood Hameed, who is the president of the Pakistan Medical and Dental Council (PMDC) and also the vice chancellor of a public sector medical university, had been included in the murder case of Dr Zubair Khan.
They said he should immediately resign from both posts as “he has lost any moral authority to head such prestigious posts”. They also demanded that Khan’s brutal murder must be investigated thoroughly and the culprits brought to justice.
Up until now the PMA had been struggling to bring to an end target killings of doctors on a sectarian basis or by extortionists or kidnappers, but very recently the case of the murder of “a young innocent doctor is reported in the media”, they said.
“Ironically, this murder is blamed on the sitting president of the PMDC and his frontmen involved in the extortion of money” from doctors who wanted to clear the council’s examination to get a practising licence, they added. According to the case, Dr Khan returned to Pakistan after graduating from China and wanted to clear the PMDC examination to get a practising license.
He was contacted by some Ajmal, who asked for Rs1.5 million and assured him that he would pass the exam. After a few days, a group of people, comprising Masood Hameed, Amjad and Iqbal Khattak, met Khan and asked for an additional Rs400,000.
“This group threatened him with dire consequences if he informed anyone about this exchange of money.
The PMA leaders said the doctor paid the amount and somehow or the other he was taken to hospital where he was injected with some drug. The doctor lost his life. Now the FIR is registered by the order of the court against Masood Hameed, Amjad, Ajmal and Iqbal Khattak. In this murder case two other names are also involved, Dr Imdad Khushk and Dr Shaista,” said the PMA leaders.
They said that in the past they were always concerned about stories of financial corruption and mismanagement in the PMDC affairs, but now a case of murder had been lodged against the council’s president and his frontmen.
“The Pakistan Medical Association thinks that enough is enough. We do not have any trust in the Ministry of Health and the federal government as they have miserably failed to address the issues of the PMDC.
“It looks that the Ministry of Health is not only not trying to solve this mystery but also protecting the criminals and suggesting a dialogue with them to settle the longstanding issues of the PMDC. Dozens of cases are pending in the apex court to be heard and decided.”
They further said: “The PMA has always asked for the restructuring of the PMDC according to the rules and regulations. But the people ruling the roost do not care for anything. They are flouting the rulings of the Supreme Court with impunity, not paying any attention to the recommendations of the Standing Committee of the National Assembly, recommendations of the Ministry of Health etc.”
The PMA demanded that “the incompetent minister of health should also resign with immediate effect because she has miserably failed to protect the life of a doctor”.
It said the names of those nominated in the FIR should be put on the exact control list, and the murder case should be taken up by a military court for speedy justice.
The association also called for a thorough investigation in the alleged “corrupt practices going on since a long time in the PMDC” by the FIA as well as for referring the cases to military courts.
The PMA said the present structure of the PMDC should be immediately dissolved in accordance with the recommendations of the Standing Committee and the Ministry of Health, and an ad hoc arrangement should come in place to resolve day-to-day issues of the council till an elected body took over.
The association particularly appealed to Chief of Army Staff General Raheel Sharif and ISI chief Lieutenant General Rizwan Akhtar “to save an important national institution” from a vested interest group. It also asked Interior Minister Chaudhry Nisar to look into the matter and play his due role in this regard.