MOHMAND: Prime Minister Imran Khan, Chief of the Army Staff Gen Qamar Javed Bajwa and Ambassador of the United Arab Emirates to Pakistan Hamad Obaid Ibrahim Al-Zaabi pictured with notables of the area after inauguration of Sheikh Zayed Road on Monday.—PPI
MOHMAND: Prime Minister Imran Khan, Chief of the Army Staff Gen Qamar Javed Bajwa and Ambassador of the United Arab Emirates to Pakistan Hamad Obaid Ibrahim Al-Zaabi pictured with notables of the area after inauguration of Sheikh Zayed Road on Monday.—PPI

PESHAWAR/BAJAUR/MOHMAND: Prime Minister Imran Khan has reiterated that the reform process in the health sector would continue despite resistance by certain elements to enable the poor to receive quality healthcare facilities at the government-run hospitals.

“I wonder as to why the health department employees are resisting the reform process which aims to improve hospitals where the have-nots are seeking treatment. The Medical Teaching Institutions Reform Act 2015 implemented by the KP government is going to bring much-needed improvement in patients’ care,” he told a ceremony after inaugurating the newly-built Surgical and Allied Services Block at Lady Reading Hospital in Peshawar on Monday.

“There would be no going back on the health reforms as these are extremely necessary to change the decades-old rotten health system,” the prime minister said.

The new block of the hospital was far better than private hospitals, he said, adding that they needed to strengthen the system and restore public confidence in government-run hospitals.

Says Pakistan wants success of intra-Afghan dialogue, inaugurates new block of Peshawar hospital, road and tunnel in Mohmand

The reforms introduced in the health sector were meant to pave the way for transparency and a system of check and balance where the performers would be rewarded and those showing laxity would face action, he said.

“Merit is the basic criterion to ensure development all over the world. China is the best example of development due to following principles of merit. Meritocracy leads to justice and transparency. No system can work effectively without merit,” he said.

The prime minister appreciated the provincial government for building a nice hospital block where the poor would get quality services and urged the doctors to be sympathetic towards patients.

“The Sehat Sahulat Programme introduced by the PTI government in Khyber Pakhtunkhwa has now been extended to other provinces to provide free health services to the downtrodden masses in public and private hospitals,” he said. “The programme has created an atmosphere of competition between public and private hospitals and as a result people would receive quality services.”

Mr Khan mentioned the Shaukat Khanum Memorial Trust and Cancer Hospitals which had been recognised at the global level for the standard of services provided to the patients. The Namal University, Mianwali, was another example which provided free education to the children belonging to poor families who got jobs soon after graduation due to quality education, he said. Both the institutions were well-established due to which the people generously donated to them, he added.

In Mohmand district, PM Imran Khan was briefed on ongoing development projects in the tribal districts.

He inaugurated Sheikh Mohamed Bin Zayed AL-Nahyan road and Nakki Tunnel. Addressing tribal elders on the occasion, he said the tribal areas had been deprived of development opportunities for the last 70 years. “But we will leave no stone unturned to ensure development of the tribal districts,” he added. The strip from Mohmand to Waziristan was suitable for olive cultivation, he said. “The government is setting up border markets at 12 places along the Pak-Afghan border to provide employment opportunities to the people of the area,” he said.

“We want to bring the backward areas at par with other areas of the country,” he said.

Border fencing had been completed to prevent and control smuggling which would improve security, industries and businesses, he said.

Addressing the ground breaking ceremony of Timergara-Khar- Mamad Gat Road project at Bajaur Scouts headquarters in Khar, Mr Khan said that merger of the tribal districts with KP had ushered in a new era of progress and development in the region. The 71km road would be constructed at a cost of Rs7 billion.

The premier said that integration of the tribal districts with KP was vital for paving way for socio-economic development of the region and keeping the region safe and secure the region from anti-peace and anti-sate elements.

The ceremony was attended by KP Chief Minister Mahmood Khan, Governor Shah Farman and Chief of the Army Staff Gen Qamar Javed Bajwa.

Mr Khan claimed that no politicians knew the tribal areas and its issues better than him as he had paid his first visit to Bajaur and other areas in 1992 during research for writing a book.

APP adds: Prime Minister Khan welcoming the initiation of intra-Afghan dialogue process said that a peaceful Afghanistan was in the interest of both Pakistan and Afghanistan besides stability of the entire region.

Addressing the tribal elders in Mohmand tribal district, he said Pakistan wanted the success of dialogue between Afghan government and Taliban.

The return of peace and stability in Afghanistan would bring positive effects to the overall progress, trade and economic development of the merged tribal districts, he said.

Published in Dawn, September 29th, 2020