LAHORE: President Dr Arif Alvi has called upon the developed world to remove copyrights on knowledge and let the lecturers of leading universities visit Pakistan to impart quality knowledge.

“I have been advocating the removal of copyrights on knowledge for many years in different countries,” he said. “Our system must strive to accommodate those professionals who return home from abroad to engage them in the public sector or even part time to utilise the professional skills and knowledge,” said Dr Alvi at the inaugural session of the three-day international dental conference organised by the University of Health Sciences – based on a theme “Collaborate, Innovate and Cure” at Expo Centre on Thursday.

Referring to a long struggle to take dentistry where it is today, he said he was confident that the dentistry education being imparted in Pakistan could match the standards anywhere in the world.

“I myself had written Pakistan’s Dental Act envisioning a separate Dental Council and presented the copy to former prime minister Muhammad Khan Junejo,” he said.

Dr Alvi stressed that the health professionals in fields of medicine and dentistry should create awareness about prevention of diseases. He said the fresh medicine and dentistry graduates should, as a mandatory step, go back to their communities and serve the downtrodden for at least six months.

Punjab Health Minister Dr Yasmin Rashid said the government was keenly working to improve the healthcare services for the people. In order to work on prevention of diseases, she said a pilot study would be launched next year in schools to assess young students’ health and nutrition.

Dr Rashid also announced that the government had restarted construction of a dental college that was stopped about a decade ago. She said the management of the new building would be handed over to the De-Montmorency College of Dentistry.

UHS Vice Chancellor Prof Dr Javed Akram urged President Dr Alvi to create a separate dental council because dentistry was not flourishing while having a non-existent strength in the Pakistan Medical and Dental Council (PMDC). He said the gap between patient burden and availability of dentists was enormous in Pakistan that led to quackery.

At the conference, a Grand Dental Health and Education Alliance was created and Dr Alvi was elected its founding chairman. The alliance will work with a motto “Dentistry for Humanity”.

Addressing a seminar on the Kashmir crisis in the city, the president was all praise for the prime minister for his speech at the UNGA.

The seminar organised by party leader Ijaz Chaudhry turned out to be more of a rally as persistent sloganeering seemed to defy the seriousness of the topic: International Role of Pakistan and Progress on Kashmir issue in the context of Prime Minister’s US visit.

The speakers included former foreign secretary Shamshad Ahmad Khan, former caretaker chief minister Prof Hassan Askari Rizvi and adviser to Prime Minister Naeemul Haq.

Published in Dawn, October 4th, 2019