Pakistan Medical and Dental Council (PMCD) has faced many corruption allegations since the past 10 years and yet again it is shook by the same.
At an executive committee held recently, the members did not allow the president of PMDC, Dr. Shabir Lehri, to take over his seat and accused him of corruption accusations.
According to Ayub Shaikh, Secretary Ministry of National Health Services (NHS), the last executive committee was not held and had to be called off as per his sources. He said that he was collecting more information and looking into the matter.
The president of the PMDC has reported that there are a few elements who are putting on pressure by placing false accusations on him so that he may resign. “But I have decided not to yield to the pressure.”
Dr Lehri told that a few members did not like his decisions to ensure merit in the registration of colleges, the National Examination Board exams and the inspection of colleges.
“They are trying to pressure me with false allegations so that I would resign. But I have decided not to resign. If some members don’t want me, they should bring the matter to the council meeting and remove me with a majority of votes. I have decided to call the meeting of the council next week,” he said.
The executive council of PMDC was dissolved after endorsement by President Mamnoon Hussain on Aug 26, 2015. An acting management committee, chaired by Gen Azhar Kiyani, was established. The committee was directed to hold elections for the executive council within a period of 120 days but was unable to do so. So on Dec 11, 2015, Saira Afzal Tarar, Minister for NHS, passed a bill in the National Assembly to extend the decree for 120 days more.
Although before the completion of another 120 days, a new management committee was established under the chairmanship of Dr. Lehri, up to date the presidential decree could not sail through the Senate.
An insider of the executive committee meeting, held on April 6th, told that the members present in the meeting criticize Dr. Lehri and alleged corruption charges on him. One of the members confirmed that he had an audio clip available with him that proved Dr. Lehri asking for bribe for the registration of a college.
“The members did not allow the president to sit on the seat and later the meeting was called off without approving the minutes of the past meetings.”
He said the point of disagreement regarding the approval of six medical colleges by the council in the last week of January.
“Mr Lehri sent the list of colleges to the ministry of NHS to notify them but the ministry refused as the minutes were not approved. On the other hand, the PMDC president was of the view that the notifications should not be delayed as it allowed people to raise fingers at the council. Now the differences have reached such an extent that the president is being forced to resign,” he said.
An authorized personal of the ministry of NHS, requesting his name not be mentioned, further told that some of the members had asked the ministry to play its role but the rest believed the ministry had the right to either keep the president or substitute him with someone else.
“But the president is from Balochistan, which is a smaller province, so in case of his removal it will become a political issue,” he said.
Member of the council, Dr Amir Bandesha, said that compared to the past things were smoother in the council now. If someone has any evidences of corruption, they must be brought forward rather than putting allegations.
“I have learnt that a professor, who wants to establish a college, called Mr Lehri and requested him for help. Mr Lehri said he would look into the matter. This sort of reply is a normal practice in our society and cannot be described as corruption. Moreover, Mr Lehri has no physical role in the registration of colleges,” he said.