Government, Pims chief face pre-emptive legal suit
ISLAMABAD, Feb 15: On the petition of an official of the Pakistan Institute of Medical Sciences (Pims), the Islamabad High Court (IHC) on Friday restrained the federal government from promoting Dr Riaz Warraich, the Executive Director of Pims, as the vice chancellor of a medical university yet to be born.
Justice Shaukat Aziz Siddiqui passed the order on the petition of Pims Joint Executive Director Dr Altaf Hussain who holds that Dr Warraich is not eligible even for his current position.
His petition relates to a bill introduced by the treasury benches on January 30 – and likely to be taken up by the National Assembly next week – for converting and renaming the Quaid-i-Azam Medical College existing in the Pims into a university, with the incumbent head of Pakistan Institute of Medical Sciences as its first vice chancellor.
Advocate Shuaib Shaheen, the petitioner’s counsel, contended that the bill was a political subterfuge to benefit Dr Warraich and, if adopted, would rob the medical college’s association with the founder of Pakistan by renaming it as Shaheed Zulfikar Ali Bhutto Medical University.
Justice Aziz put off the hearing of the petition to February 21 after issuing the restraining order to the government and notices to the Federation of Pakistan, the Establishment and the Capital Administration and Development divisions, and Dr Warraich cited as respondents by the petitioner.
Advocate Shaheen told the court that Dr Warraich was not eligible for the position he holds in the Pims but managed it because of his political connections, and took the position that the bill had been drafted to upgrade him as vice chancellor of the proposed medical university.
Section 13 of the bill says that its “first vice-chancellor shall be the incumbent Executive Director, Pakistan Institute of Medical Sciences till the Search Committee finalised the appointment”.
Subsection 2 of this section says that the vice chancellor “shall have the qualification prescribed by the Pakistan Medical and Dental Council at Level I and Level III MS, or MD, or FCPS, or equivalent, with 15 years teaching experience, and must have produced ten research papers in journals recognised by Pakistan Medical and Dental Council or Higher Education Commission”.
According to the counsel the post of Pims Executive Director is of BPS-21 and the required qualification for this post is MBBS with specialisation in some selected fields.
A minimum 22 years experience in the field of public health is mandatory for this post.
The counsel said that Dr Warraich holds the Bachelor of Dental Surgery degree and has teaching experience only and, therefore, was not a suitable candidate for the post of Executive Director Pakistan Institute of Medical Sciences.