Jamali tells PU to consider PMC affiliation
By Waqar Gillani
LAHORE: Prime Minister Zafarullah Jamali has directed the Punjab University (PU) to consider registering the Punjab Medical College (PMC), Faisalabad, after the college’s students wrote to him complaining about their compulsory affiliation with the University of Health Sciences (UHS).
Daily Times obtained a copy of a letter from the Prime Minister’s Secretariat to the PU vice chancellor, Lt General (r) Arshad Mahmood, dated December 2003. The letter, from a deputy secretary of the prime minister, asks the university to take prompt action on the issue. A copy of a writ petition from PMC students asking the Supreme Court not to make them register with the UHS is attached to the letter.
PU sources said the prime minister had earlier received a letter from PMC students asking that they not be forced to register with the UHS. They had also tried to set up a meeting with Mr Jamali, but couldn’t because of his busy schedule.
The PMC students wrote that their college, opened in 1973, was affiliated with the Punjab University and was producing qualified doctors. They wrote that their registration with the UHS a few months ago had disrupted the academic environment at the college.
The students moved the Lahore High Court and Supreme Court against the PMC’s affiliation with the UHS. The LHC under an interim order suspended the PMC’s affiliation and directed the PU to conduct the examination of PMC students. But the PU did not do so, and the students went on hunger strike in protest. The letter said 1,200 students went on hunger strike.
The students asked the prime minister to direct the Punjab University to register their college, as it has the King Edward Medical College and Fatima Jinnah Medical College. The students also attached a unanimous resolution passed by the college academic council against registration with the UHS. They argued that they had been admitted by the Punjab University so they had a legal right to take the exams of that university.
The PMC, along with other colleges, was automatically affiliated with the UHS under Section 37 (1) of the UHS Ordinance. Their appeals in court were rejected and PMC students are now taking UHS exams.
The PU authorities were unavailable for comment.