NA passes Bhutto university bill amid uproar
ISLAMABAD: The National Assembly on Thursday passed the Shaheed Zulfikar Ali Bhutto Medical University Bill, 2013 with majority vote amid vocal opposition by PML-N and MQM.
Since opposition members were not ready to speak on the bill, Deputy Speaker Faisal Karim Kundi asked Minister for Capital Administration and Development Nazar Muhammad Gondal to move the bill. The house subsequently passed the bill clause by clause by majority vote.
The members belonging to Pakistan Muslim League-Nawaz (PML-N) and Muttahida Qaumi Movement (MQM) stood up on their seats holding placards and chanted slogans against the bill.
Earlier, proceedings of the lower house of the parliament were suspended for some time due to lack of quorum.
After ten minutes of the session initiation, PML-N’s Hanif Abbasi pointed out the quorum. The deputy speaker ordered ringing of bells and suspended the proceedings till completion of quorum.
The proceedings resumed after a delay of more than an hour when the PML-N lawmakers returned to the house.
With enactment of the bill, medical students of the Islamabad region have been provided opportunities to get higher education.
Under the bill, the Pakistan Institute of Medical Sciences (PIMS) has been upgraded to medical university named as Shaheed Zulfikar Ali Bhutto Medical University (SZABMU). It has been empowered to confer degrees, diplomas, certificates and other academic distinctions.
All medical colleges and health institutions located in the Islamabad Capital Territory (ICT) will be affiliated with the SZABMU.
The faculty of medicine Quaid-e-Azam University (QAU) will be transferred to the Shaheed Zulfikar Ali Bhutto Medical University and ceases to exist and all students thereafter will be transferred in a six-month time.
It may be mentioned here that the PIMS is providing specialist training in 28 disciplines of medicine, surgery and dentistry. Presently 550 resident doctors are under training at the institute.
It is also providing post graduate training to the nurses and basic nursing education. The institute is also providing structured training to paramedics in various disciplines.
After passing the Shaheed Zulfikar Ali Bhutto University bill, the session was adjourned to meet again on Friday at 11 am.