Prof. Dr. Nusrat Waqar, 1928-2020


Prof. Dr. Nusrat Waqar, 1928-2020
(A Legendary Physiologist of Pakistan)

It is sad that within the last couples of weeks, two legendary Physiologists Professor Dr. Arif Siddiqui and Professor Dr. Nusrat Waqar breathed their last. Professor Nusrat Waqar was 92 years of age. The contributions of Professor Waqar in establishment and quality assurance of the Department of Basic Medical Sciences (BMS) at King Edward Medical College (KEMC) Lahore can never be forgotten. She was a figure of grace, honour, humility, righteousness and forthrightness. She was polite but firm and soft but unbreakable.

I met her for the first time during my M. Phil studies at PGMI Lahore (when it was located in a renovated building of Animal House of KEMC in 1979 where she taught us Cardio-Pulmonary Systems. And, then she was our examiner in M. Phil Part-I and Part-II Thesis Examination. I used to contact her often for academic guidance and sometimes, without a purpose, just to imbibe and adsorb her style of working. She had an art to utter an unpleasant decision in a pleasant manner. She used to help the poor staff very silently. She was in a habit of monitoring labs, classrooms, tutorial rooms, stores, stocks, corridors, machines and hygienic conditions of the staff regularly. She was totally absorbed in the Profession. During her tenure, she taught postgraduate trainees for M. Phil and FCPS-I regularly besides her core responsibilities. She advocated continuing education and learning.

Celebarting Happy Birthday at a meetting held at UHS Lahore.

After her retirement from KEMC Lahore, she served Islamabad Medical & Dental College Islamabad for a couple of years. Then, she proceeded to Malaysia as Professor of Physiology in a renowned University Medical College and served there for a few more years. Thereafter, she spent time amongst her family members located in nearby to UHS Lahore. During my stay at UHS Lahore (2013-2017), I often met her and called her periodically and did invite her to the University occasions. She was a sweet lady and always blessed me with countless prayers.

The 28th raising day of Pakistan Physiological Society (PPS) was celebrated at the University of Health Sciences (UHS) on 15th April 2015 with a resolve to speed into the future in close affiliation with clinical medicine, pushed by a huge body of professional knowledge that the society has generated over the years. The most important feature was the presence of three legendary Physiologists of the country namely; Professor Nusrat Waqar, Professor Naseem A. Rauf and Professor Shehnaz Javed Khan. Their graceful presence inspired the Physiologists present there.

Professor Dr. Shahid Hassan worked with Professor Nusrat Waqar at KEMC for a longtime. He recalls that:

“I had the unique honour to work as her junior colleague for years. She had always been very kind and helpful to me. She was a compassionate human always caring of others particularly the poor and the needy. Honesty is a big virtue and not many possess that which she indeed had. In particular, she was the darling of her students who remember her and cherish her love and empathy. She helped me during some of my very trying times, otherwise who bothers for anyone these days. I feel heart broken and dejected not to be helpful to her and keep a track of her in her last days. May Almighty Allah forgive me”.

Professor Dr. Muhammad Ayub, President Pakistan Physiological Society, who has been her M.Phil Trainee, adds that:

“Professor Nusrat Waqar was my mentor and supervisor during M. Phil at PGMI Lahore. She was always more than my mother. Her smiling face and affectionate looks always remain and will remain in my eyes. She was an excellent administrator with kind command and earned a lot of true respect. Her students at KEMC and later Islamabad Medical & Dental College will never forget their spiritual mother”.

Professor Nusrat Waqar will be missed by her colleagues and family. She has left behind tens of hundreds of students who are working on prestigious assignments within the country and all over world. May her soul be blessed by virtue of her students as her Sadqa-e-Jaria (Aamen).

Maj Gen Prof.M. Aslam (Retd)
Founder VC, Shifa Tameer-e-Millat University, Islamabad
Former VC UHS, Lahore
Former Pro-VC NUMS, Rawalpindi.
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