I am absolutely thrilled by the news that Dr Inayat Padhiar has been recognized for a state Civil Award, the Sitara-e-Imtiaz. I cannot think of anyone more deserving of national honour and recognition than him.
Inayat and I go back in time; it was the year 1966 at DJ Science College, in Karachi, before we both entered dentistry at the tiny dental section next to the morgue at the then Liaquat Medical College, Jamshoro; he a year later than I. From those early days to the ones subsequent to my wife’s and my return from the UK to private practice in Karachi, Inayat has, till today, remained one of our closest friend, colleague and a willing confidant. He has been an amazing source of wisdom, moderation and calm to my impetuousness and urgency. His small clinic at JJ Hospital became the center where colleagues and juniors could come and receive his unstinted and honest advice and assistance. His door was always open and he gave of himself to all who asked with selfless zeal and dedication, never seeking reward, recognition or power. In assisting me with surgery and monitoring post -operative patients, at JJ, to helping reconstitute and develop the largely defunct and penniless Pakistam Dental Association (PDA) with a handful of friends and some of our, now largely departed, senior colleagues, Inayat was always available unquestioningly and selflessly, with time, energy and support; yet shunning the glamour of self-projection.
The start of monthly PDA meetings and our attempts to develop a culture of continuing dental education lectures and programmes, in an organization with no money, and create enthusiasm for further learning within the then practitioners and fresh graduates would not have happened without his dedication and drive. With very limited funds but with a passion for the promotion of dentistry and its specialties, the 80’s and early 90’s marked a period that our small core group of friends (special mention to Dr’s Mehmood Siddiqui, Mudassir, Mumtaz Khan, and Kamran Vasfy and seniors like Dr’s Coelho, Mazhar Bhatti, Khalid Mansoor, Tayyab Mehmood, Rumi Sukhia, Arif Raza, to name a few), with Inayat’s unflagging optimism and energy, managed to bring in numerous foreign speakers and organize many well attended CDE training programmes. This period also saw the beginning of our very long and continued association with Colgate (Pakistan) and, through them, the inception of regular school children’s examination and Oral Health Awareness programmes. It was this same pioneering drive that led to the start of the Journal of the Pakistan Dental Association, Karachi, (JOPDAK), with him as Editor and the late Mr Rajab Ali as Manager and Mr Hashim Hasan’s organization doing the printing and near free publication and distribution. Despite the many setbacks JOPDAK received, essentially from our own colleagues, Inayat persevered. The result of those tremendous efforts, today, is the JPDA, a HEC/ PMDC recognized national journal.
Inayat is one of the very few examples of integrity, ethics and honesty that I can think of, not just in the profession, but as a beacon for the entire nation. In the nearly 50 years I have known him I can vouch for the fact that he remains a total self- effacing gentleman, completely non-judgmental, non-partisan and apolitical, with malice towards none! I am honoured to be his friend and proud that he will soon be the recipient of this, much overdue, national award.
-Prof. Dr Mervyn Hosein is the principal of Ziauddin College of Dentistry; he owns his private practice and specializes in maxillofacial surgery.