KARACHI, March 2: Pakistan's eminent nuclear scientist Dr Abdul Qadeer Khan on Friday criticised the recent trend of doctors going on strike to press the authorities for the acceptance of their demands, urging them to refrain from taking such extreme steps which only added to the miseries of patients.

Dr Khan, who was speaking as a guest at a reception hosted in his honour by Dow University of Health Sciences (DUHS) on its Ojha campus, recalled that when a medical college of Lahore had invited him as the chief guest he was pained to hear that some doctors were observing a strike outside the institution for the acceptance of their demands.

“Doctors who take an oath at the time of their admission to medical colleges that they will serve ailing humanity should continue to perform their duties even during their protests. They should wear black armbands or hold dialogues with the authorities concerned, instead of going on strikes at the cost of suffering patients,” he added.

The reception, followed by the inauguration ceremony of Dow University's newly-constructed auditorium at its Ojha campus was attended, among others, by DUHS vice chancellor Prof Masood Hameed Khan, Pro vice-chancellor Prof Umer Farooq, Dow Medical College principal Dr Junaid Ashraf, Dow International Medical College principal Dr Mohammad Masroor, Senator Abdul Haseeb, faculty members and students.

Recalling his time as a student at D.J. Science College, Dr Khan said that the standard of education in those days was much better than under the current academic system and, as such, the quality of education today could be improved with the re-introduction of the old system with the addition of two more subjects — computer science and Pakistan studies.

Exhorting students to acquire education for the progress and prosperity of the country, Dr Khan, the founder of Pakistan's nuclear programme, pointed out the irony in the fact that “though the country possesses a nuclear bomb, we haven't been able to make needles and bicycle chains”.

Dr Khan who played a vital role in setting up the AQ Khan Institute of Behavioral Sciences, located adjacent to Dow University's Ojha campus, said he would assign the task of running the IBS to DUHS so that it could help people deal with the stresses of everyday life in this city.

Upon Dr Khan's arrival at the DUHS' Ojha campus, he was showered with rose petals by students, and following his speech at the university's newly-built auditorium, he was given a standing ovation by the audience which included DUHS faculty members, students and dignitaries.

At the outset, the renowned nuclear scientist who delivered his speech in Urdu said that when there were no foreigners among his audience he preferred to speak in the national language and cited the example of leading international personalities – Robert Mugabe and Nelson Mandela – who also preferred to speak in their national languages.

Earlier, DUHS vice chancellor Prof Masood Hameed Khan in his welcome address paid glowing tribute to Dr Khan, saying that the immense scientific and philanthropic contributions made by him had no parallel in the country's history.

Dow International Medical College principal also gave vote of thanks. Later, DUHS vice chancellor presented a memento of the university to Dr Khan.

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