off record
Shaukat Ali Jawaid

Never over step your domain and
Promise something you cannot do

Daily DAWN the prestigious National Daily newspaper has done well to remind leaders of various institutions “never to over step their domain, exploit well-meaning citizens and promise something which is beyond their intellectual and financial capabilities.” In an Editorial the paper has referred to former Chief Justice Saqib Nisar’s “Diammere-Basha and Mohmand Dam Fund” which despite all the publicity, voluntary and involuntary donations even from Railway Passengers to users of utilities etc., what to talk of institutions like Armed Forces and Pensioners, as well as cooperative societies could merely collect less than ten Billion rupees as against the project cost which is 1.5 Trillion.1 In fact this whole campaign achieved nothing despite support by Imran Khan and the shortfall remains enormous.

This proves once again that it is easy to say something but extremely difficult to actually do something good. The former Chief Justice during his last few years took too many Suo motu notices and started to intervene in every field which was not liked by the professionals as well as by the society at large. At times people were humiliated in the open court something which should be avoided at all cost because those who wish to be respected, must learn to respect others.

There is no denying the fact that lack of proper monitoring and accountability, regulation of health professionals as well as healthcare facilities, there is lot of mess in our health services which needs to be looked into and put in order. But even then this has to be done in a manner wherein instead of blaming individuals, efforts should be made to improve the system and set things right. We have always supported the concept of self-monitoring and self-regulation but unfortunately it has not worked so far. Certainly such regulation has to be undertaken by those whose intellectual honesty and integrity is unquestionable. Failure of the medical profession and its leadership will then certainly result in someone like Saqib Nisar doing this despite the fact that such respectable personalities may not be fully aware of all the facts. Then it will be extremely painful. A lawyer howsoever intelligent and competent he or she may be, cannot and should not be expected to undertake kidney and liver transplant or know how much time and resources it requires to set up a transplant programme. We are living in an era of professionalism and it is up to the respective professionals to do this. Even the government functionaries should also seek help, assistance and guidance from the professionals in the respective fields to plan and undertake some project. Materialistic virus has infected the medical profession as well like other members of the society. Intellectual corruption and unethical practices are rampant in health services. It is time that some conscious, well-meaning members from within the medical profession should come forward and play their role to set their own house in order before it is too late.

On a positive note it is heartening to note that the Apex Court has reversed the former Chief Justice of Pakistan’s orders against the management of Pakistan Kidney and Liver Institute. “The Supreme Court bench has directed the provincial government to run the PKLI under the relevant Act and also allowed Dr. Akhtar to go abroad. The Honourable members of the Bench Justice Manzoor Ahmad Malik, Justice Syed Mansoor Ali Shah and Justice Yahya Afridi also discarded the adhoc committee.”2

The treatment meted out to Dr. Saeed Akhtar was in a very bad taste. It was rightly condemned by the Pakistan Medical Association (PMA) as well as Pakistan Islamic Medical Association (PIMA). However, there was not much protest by medical profession as such. As is the case, nobody is bothered as long as something does not affect them. The time has come when the medical profession must give up this attitude. It needs to stand up, start self-monitoring and regulation, protect its rights and safeguard the interests of the medical profession. That is the only way it can regain its lost glory, respect and prestige in the society at large.


  1. Dam Fund Disappointment. (Editorial) Daily DAWN Sunday February 24,2019.
  2. Apex court reverses ex-CJP’s orders against PKLI management. Daily DAWN March 1, 2019. Page-2.
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