Book Review: Khomeini aur
Firdausi Ki Sarzameen

I was really overwhelmed by your very in-depth, extensive and thorough commentary on our Urdu travelogue namely ‘Khomeini aur Firdausi Ki Sarzameen’. It is certainly an objective and positive critique of a book. These days a very few commentators take the trouble and read the whole book with concentration or some conviction. You certainly proved an exception. The reading of ‘Safarnamaa’ helped you to recollect your memories of multiple professional but brief visits to Iran. Your elaborate and interesting review is a witness to your good literary taste and reflects your keen desire to encourage doctors to spare their non commercial time to pay attention to literature and non medical writings. 

You are very right that we had a very short stay in Iran but were not shortsighted or biased. Certainly Pakistan was there at every step and each corner of our journey. Why we with a solid ideological foundation, supportive infrastructure and committed nation went astray and lost our destination. Now we are one of the nations with most illiterate, highest MMR, IMR, polioful, violent against vulnerable, lacking clean water and sanitation and with no power or water. We aspire for bullet train, 6- lane Motorways and Metros but lack city roads and footpaths. We don’t care for rule of law, peace, tolerance, education, health and other basic civic needs. All segments of our society have happily compromised with Corruption only to get richer in shortest time.

Iran is a different story in-spite of American restrictions and clergy control. They are blessed with honesty, good governance and technical departments are run by technical persons and not by bureaucrats. The Iranian model may have its own flaws but it is definitely serving its people well without cast, grade or jageerdari system. Irani leadership does not import special luxury vehicles worth 22 crores, don’t have accounts in foreign countries but have excellent public transport and railway systems. Persian as national language rules every where from signboards to medium of instruction, from a common man to their president. They are proud to communicate in their mother tongue. Their Pharma industry and medical profession follow ethical practices and never indulge in free dinner-free family trips business at the cost of poor patients.

I am indeed impressed by your bold expressions and cherish your commendable remarks.

Dr. S Anwaar Ahmad Bugvi
Ex. Advisor (Tech) 
Punjab Health Deptt,
Ex. Medical Superintendent,
Children & Jinnah Hospitals,
Lahore - Pakistan.

 Army Medical Services and doctors

It is interesting to read Lt. Gen. Mahmood Ahmed Akhter’s. letter published in Pulse- International of May 15,2014 in which he complained about the indifference of the civilian doctors about those serving in armed forces. The affairs of Pakistan armed forces had always been a secret affair and a sacred cow for us: I joined Pakistan army as conscriptee in emergency in 1971 as a classified surgical specialist. (Rank of Major). I was very much critical about the system and efficiency of A.M.C. (army medical corp) during war. I wanted to write and give some suggestions to improve it, but could not, secrecy. Every thing was secret and you were always afraid of the secrecy act. I observed that at that time army doctors were shy to mix with the civilian colleagues, even call them selves, a doctor. I remember when out of habit (as civilian) once I addressed to a second in command (Two O.C.) of our unit, who happened to be a doctor and old major- Doctor Sahib. He at once snapped at me- Don’t call me Doctor, call me Major or Major Sahib:
There are so many state of art hospitals and institutes with highly qualified specialists in armed forces who are doing a commendable job but we know very little about them. After 1971 war army started getting more open so much so that now they have started opening private medical colleges in Combined Military Hospitals. So it is high time that Pakistan army doctors should come forward and have more frequent interaction with healthcare professionals working in the civil side. They should tell us more about A.M.C. which we are eager to know. In fact I will suggest that they should compile the history of Army Medical services and also highlight their achievements. After all they are our brothers and army institutions are our national pride.

Prof. Altaf Hussain Rathore F.R.C.S.
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