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QUETTA: Balochistan Chief Minister Dr Abdul Malik Baloch has said his government’s commitment to promoting education is evident from a plan under which three medical colleges are being established in the province and Bolan Medical College (BMC) is being upgraded to university’s level.

Addressing the eighth convocation of the BMC here on Friday, he asked doctors to change their attitude towards their job and wholeheartedly serve poor people living in remote areas of the province who needed their services more than anyone else.

He deplored that the alumni of the college were not ready to serve people of their native areas though most of them had got admission to the institute on seats reserved for different areas.

The chief minister said that doctors did not have a positive public image and added that they would have to change their professional behaviour to improve the image.

On an optimistic note, he said: “Realising that Balochistan is a backward province also in the field of education, the new generation of students is determined to work hard to fill this gap. In many districts female students are surpassing boys as far as admission to medical colleges is concerned, which is a healthy sign.”

Sharing memories of his student life, Dr Malik said that when he was a student of the BMC, often it took a student seven years to complete the five-year MBBS course. “Because of uncertainty prevailing at the institute, the then governor General Rahimuddin Khan had termed the college “Lalu Khait”.

But he was happy to note that the college environment had changed since and now students were more serious towards their education.

Paying tribute to senior professors, he asked fresh graduates to follow in the footsteps of likes of Prof Abdul Sattar Nagi, Prof Zulfiqar Zaidi and Dr Allah Bakhsh.

The chief minister admitted that the Balochistan government was not in a position to achieve Millennium Development Goals and urged all stakeholders to contribute to the efforts to ensure provision of healthcare to common man.

He thanked President Mamnoon Hussain for attending the convocation and urged him to visit Quetta regularly to have a close view of the situation prevailing in Balochistan.

He said a “negative and contrary to reality perception” had been created in Islamabad about the law and order situation in the province.

Dr Baloch announced that laptops would be provided to fresh graduates of the BMC and an auditorium would be built where convocation and other events would be held.

Published in Dawn, December 27th, 2014