A journey from prison to Sitara-i-Imtiaz (SI)


Life after release from prison in 1982 and before reinstatement-VII
A journey from prison to Sitara-i-Imtiaz (SI)
Prof. Eice Muhammad FCPS
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I was released from Rawalpindi Jail after remaining in the Jail for about nine months. As I had no personal house, I temporarily started living in a rented house on Waris Road, Lahore. My Father-in –Law was the rentee of this rented house.

Prof. Eice Mohammad

When I was released from Jail, I felt as if I have come in a new world as:

  1. I had no personal house to live.
  2. No money in pocket even to give any money to my wife.
  3. Although, I was Associate Professor of Medicine with FCPS qualification. I had not done private practice or government service in Lahore. Public of this city did not know of my abilities as a physician. I had worked as a Registrar (MO) in East Medical Ward of Mayo Hospital, Lahore in 1967—1969 under Late Professor M. Akhtar Khan.
  4. I had no personal transport with which I could move about in Lahore. I had to ride wagons to go from one place to the other in Lahore.
  5. When, I was in Jail, I was acutely aware that my wife had no source of income except my salary which had been stopped by the government.
  6. Before my imprisonment, I was working in Ravi Hospital . I had a personal ECG machine, which I had bought when I was in Quaid-e-Azam Medical College, Bahawalpur. I had placed ECG machine in Ravi Hospital and it remained there during my imprisonment. I wrote a letter to Dr. Muhammad Sarwar (Oncologist), a partner of Ravi Hospital, Lahore, requesting him to sell that ECG machine and give that money to my father in law for use by my wife but the partners of the hospital did not agree to that. When I was released from Jail, the owner doctors of Ravi Hospital were very sympathetic to me and asked me to start doing private practice in their hospital.
  7. This is how Allah Almighty created a source to earn livelihood. I remember that on second or third day, I earned Rs.80/- and when I handed over that money to my wife, I saw a feeling of self-respect on her face as she had her own source of income.
  8. During many years, I travelled in wagons to and from the house of my Father-in-Law to the Ravi Hospital near Minar-i-Pakistan. My consultation fee was Rs.50/- only while other consultants charged Rs.300/- to Rs.500/- on every visit. I never charged on second visit and later charged only Rs.25/- on alternate visits.

Miracle of getting a house to live independently:

Obviously, I could not live for long in the house of my father-in-law. At the same time I had not enough income to rent a house. Suddenly an incident took place which was just like a miracle. These are the ways how Allah Almighty helps His people with His invisible schemes.

My Father-in-Law, Lt. Commander (Retd.) Muhammad Sarwar used to say Friday prayers in a mosque in Bagh-i-Jinnah Lahore after Dr. Israr Ahmad who used to deliver his scholarly sermon in that mosque. A retired Inspector of Police also used to come to offer Friday prayers in that very mosque from Ravi Block of Allama Iqbal Town, Lahore, a far off place from Bagh-i-Jinnah.

My father-in-law and Inspector of Police met many a times in that mosque. Once or twice, my father in law invited him to lunch after Jumma Prayers. On such an occasion my father in law spoke about me and told him that Dr.Eice is in need of a rented house and he also told him about my arrest and imprisonment. The Inspector talked about me to his cousin who was graduate of QAMC, BWP and my student. The name of my student was Dr. Khawar Ghumman. When Dr. Khawar listened my name he told the Inspector that why don’t you give rented portion of your house to Dr. Eice Muhammad. The Inspector asked the tenants of rented portion of his house to vacate the portion and that portion was given to me. He told me that doctor sahib, you may pay me rent when you have enough income to pay the rent. For many months, I did not pay the rent and later on when my income increased, I began to pay the rent. This is how Allah Almighty helped me to settle in Lahore and earn livelihood to sustain my family.

Ravi Block is on Multan Road and my house No.510 was at a walking distance from Multan Road. This location helped me to catch wagon to take me to Bhati Gate. From Bhati Gate I had to catch another wagon to reach Ravi Hospital, the place of my work. Sometimes, I used Omni Bus service but it was not common. At night, I will first reach Bhati Gate from Ravi Hospital. From Bhati Gate, wagon would take me to Shah Noor Studio on Multan Road. From the studio, I had to hire rickshaw to reach my house in Ravi Block. Sometimes, I used to return home at late night. Due to intense fog during winter, the visibility would become just one foot only at late night when I used to reach home. Allah Almighty, however, saved me from any harm for full 09 years when I was out of service.

The Inspector Mr.Ghumman had wife, one son was Major in Army, one was Engineer working in Saudi Arabia and the eldest son was a manager in General Tyres Company and was based in Brazil. However, he never received a penny from his sons. Mr. Ghumman and his wife treated me and my wife as their children and many a times cooked food for us. Because of this help from Allah Almighty, gradually I adjusted myself to the new realities of life. I began to attend symposia, medical conferences held in the city and to keep myself abreast of latest medical knowledge. I also attended meetings of APPNA (Association of Pakistani Physicians of North America) in KEMC.

Late Dr. Bashir Ahmad a General Practitioner had established Bashir Hospital on Mohni Road, near Ravi Hospital. There used to be weekly clinical meetings to which Professors from medical colleges used to speak on different topics. I regularly attended those meetings and also used to present clinical cases to general practitioners. Motivation behind this pursuit for knowledge was my firm resolve to come back as a medical teacher one day. I derived maximum benefit from these meetings and when I was reinstated in service, I was not too much behind in latest advances in medical knowledge. Unfortunately, many years later, Dr. Bashir Ahmad was murdered by some persons. He was very good natured doctor. His hospital is still there. He had one son to inherit him.

After I was re-instated in service in November 1989, I was posted in 1992 as Prof. of Medicine in KEMC Lahore. During those days, Prof. Bashir Ahmad, famous neurosurgeon was Principal of KEMC, Lahore. With his permission, training course of MCPS for Family Physicians was started in my ward in collaboration with Dr. Bashir Ahmad of Mohni Road. Many Family Physicians passed MCPS (Family Medicine). One of them was Captain Muhammad Munawar of Sialkot. He was a very ardent supporter of PDO struggle and bore many hardships in this struggle. He was still healthy and doing practice but unfortunately died due to COVID-19 about two weeks ago in June 2020. May Allah Almighty bless his noble soul. Ameen. This is how life passed during those nine years. However, Allah Almighty gave me everything a doctor can dream of after my reinstatement in service.

I became Principal and Professor of Medicine and have served in the following medical colleges:

  1. Quaid-E-Azam Medical College, Bahawalpur.
  2. Allama Iqbal Medical College, Lahore.
  3. Sheikh Zayed Medical College, Rahim Yar Khan.
  4. Akhtar Saeed Medical College, Lahore.
  5. Sargodha Medical College, Sargodha.
  6. Professor of Medicine in King Edward Medical College, Lahore.
  7. Islam Medical College, Sialkot.
  8. Dean Academics, University of Health Sciences, Lahore,
  9. Commissioner, Punjab Health Care Commission, Punjab.
  10. Member, Board of Directors, Punjab Health Foundation, Lahore.
  11. Member Search Committees for selection of Vice-Chancellors, Principals, and for Medical Superintendents of teaching hospitals of Punjab.
  12. Member, PMDC, Pakistan and Chairman PMDC Curriculum Review Committee for MBBS Course in Pakistan.
  13. Member of Medical Education Committee of PMDC.
  14. Member, Syndicate of Islamia University, Bahawalpur.
  15. Member, Inspection teams for medical colleges, University of Health Sciences, Lahore.
  16. Convener of inspection teams of PMDC for recognition of medical colleges in Pakistan.
  17. I have been awarded Sitara-i-Imtiaz by Govt. of Pakistan in 2016.

And above all Allah Almighty has kept me mentally and physically healthy so far, for which I am grateful to HIM. Another treasure that will never finish is the love, respect and my patients whose prayers brought me out of the abyss into which I had fallen. How true it is;
Verily we alternate days among human beings (AL-Quran)