Prof. Fateh Khan Akhtar and Prof. Ijaz Ahsan finally leave this word

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Prof. Fateh Khan Akhtar and Prof. Ijaz
Ahsan finally leave this word
Both distinguished surgeons had a brilliant
professional career and played their innings well

LAHORE: Last month country lost two brilliant surgeons and distinguished medical personalities who finally left this world after playing their innings well and dignified retirement with honours from King Edward Medical College, the premier undergraduate medical institutions of the sub-continent. The first one to go was Prof. Fateh Khan Akhtar an eminent urologist who passed away leaving behind a large number of friends, well wishers besides family members to mourn death.

Prof. Fateh Khan Akhtar was a distinguished urologist who was on the faculty of King Edward Medical College as Head of the Dept. of Urology who retired some years ago. During his tenure the department played a vital role in providing service to the urology as well as nephrology patients, the teaching, training and patient care facilities were improved and expanded. After retirement he also served on the Management Board of KEMC/Mayo Hospital for many years. One of his greatest contributions after retirement was that he tried his best and succeeded to save the King Edward Medical College from being taken over by the newly established University of Health Sciences despite best efforts of Prof. Mahmood Ahmad Chaudhry who was very close to the military dictator General Pervez Musharraf. It is no less than a miracle that KEMC survived as an independent medical college and which later was rightly designated as King Edward Medical University. Being the oldest medical college, if some medical college deserved to be upgraded as a medical university it was KEMC.


Photographed from (L to R) are Prof. Shabbir, Prof. Ijaz Ahsan, Prof. Riaz Ahsan Siddiqui
and Prof. Abdul Waheed the distinguished surgeons. Only Prof. Riaz Ahsan Siddiqui is
now alive. May God Almighty bless
him with long and healthy life.

Prof. Ijaz Ahsan was another distinguished surgeon of Pakistan who passed away on May 23rd, 2020. He was the best graduate of King Edward Medical College. After graduation he left for postgraduate training to UK and came back with Fellowship of Royal College of Surgeons at a very young age. He served as a faculty member of King Edward Medical College for many years. He also served at Allama Iqbal Medical College for some time and later as Dean of Postgraduate Medical Institute Lahore. He was appointed as Principal of King Edward Medical College which is a dream of every KEMCOLIAN. He was an excellent teacher and competent surgeon. He trained a large number of surgeons. He was always very kind and affectionate to his juniors, trainees and was also loved by his patients and admired by his professional colleagues.

When the Provincial Health Secretary did not stop interfering in the running and managing the affairs of King Edward Medical College, Prof. Ijaz Ahsan resigned in protest saying that if he has to take decisions pertaining to KEMC, what is use of having the office of Principal? Bureaucracy on the whole has never treated medical professionals with respect and Prof. Ijaz Ahsan could not tolerate it. After resigning from KEMC, he joined a private medical college run and managed by University of Lahore where he served as Dean and Principal for quite a few years. He was elected Councilor of College of Physicians & Surgeons of Pakistan for quite a few terms and played his role there as well. He also served as President of CPSP for some time. When after the CPSP Elections held in Quetta in 90s, the council was split into two groups, he did try to reconcile them and at one of such meetings where the amendment to the rules related to election of President was being discussed, seeing that both the groups were adamant in their views, he is reported to have left the meeting and came back to Lahore. After that he was not much active in CPSP.


A memorable photograph of late Prof. Ijaz Ahsan former Principal of
KEMC and former President of CPSP.

His keen interest in research, medical writing was one of the reasons that we became friends. His book on Surgery which he published a few years ago was very well received not only in Pakistan but overseas as well. It has a rich treasure of local experience with pictures of local patients. The book is extremely useful not only for the medical students, postgraduates and surgical trainees but also for the senior surgeons as a quick reference guide. Soon after its publication, he was kind enough to present me a signed copy of his book. He rang me up and said that he will sent it to me but when I said I am already in Lahore, he asked me where? I informed him that I was at University of Health Sciences and will be leaving for the Airport by 3.00 PM in the afternoon to catch the flight to Karachi;, he said, he will make sure that I receive the book before I leave Lahore. I was surprised to see when he personally came to present me his book at the Vice Chancellor UHS office where I was sitting with Prof. Maj. Gen. Mohammad Aslam the then Vice Chancellor. When I organized the first seminar on Medical Writing at King Edward Medical College and Mayo Hospital Lahore in 1992, he was one of the invited speakers. He spoke on “How to write a Case Report” and shared with the audience his experience of writing a case report which was published in British Medical Journal.

Late Prof. Ijaz Ahsan was a very dear friend and meeting with him was always a pleasure. One always learnt something from his experience. He was always happy to share numerous incidents during his professional career which provided an opportunity to others to learn. He also had the courage to narrate a joke in the presence of President General Ziaul Haque at the Silver Jubilee Conference of CPSP as the conference dinner which was “Go Man Go” which remained the topic of discussion among the medical profession for many months to follow.

He was not keeping good health for quite some time and I had a feeling that he may leave this world any time. So was the case with another very dear friend and father of dermatology in Pakistan late Prof. Tahir Saeed Haroon. Hence in order to honour them and recognize their contribution to the promotion of their respective specialties, as well as research and the art of medical writing, I decided to invite both of them as Chief Guest and Guest of Honour at the biennial conference of Pakistan Association of Medical Editors which was organized at UHS Campus Lahore on April 1-2, 2016. Prof. Tahir Saeed Haroon wished that if possible, his trainees should also be invited and with the help of Prof. Ijaz Hussain Prof. of Dermatology at KEMU we sent invitation to all the dermatologists in Lahore and adjoining cities who all came to attend the dinner on April 1st, 2016. Both Prof. Tahir Saeed Haroon and Prof. Ijaz Ahsan were very kind enough to grace the occasion with their presence and honour us with their words of wisdom. Both of them are no more in this world. Prof. Tahir Saeed Haroon passed away about a year ago and Prof. Ijaz Ahsan breathed his last month. May God Almighty rest the departed souls in Peace? Ameen.