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For better or for worse: principal for an extra day

November 30, 2012

RAWALPINDI, Nov 29: It was an odd sight: Prof Dr Mussadiq Khan leading the 10th convocation of Rawalpindi Medical College (RMC), after Punjab Chief Minister Shahbaz Sharif had removed him from his post.

The former principal had been removed from his post, after the newborn-baby-rodent-bitten incident came to light.

Even the participants of the convocation were surprised to see RMC’s principal — technically former — Prof Dr Mussadiq Khan, leading the convocation. After the convocation, Dr Mussadiq Khan told Dawn that he received the letter for his removal, in the afternoon. “I have left the charge as soon as I received the letter from Secretary Health, Punjab,” he said.

However, the news of his removal was issued to the media by Punjab Information Department, soon after the meeting of the Punjab Chief Minister Shahbaz Sharif with his Special Assistant Khawaja Salman Rafique, which was Wednesday. The convocation was held on Thursday.

A senior RMC official told Dawn that the principal received the directives yesterday night but managed to convince the health secretary to postpone the issuance of notification, regarding his removal, till the convocation, scheduled for Thursday.

He said that Holy Family Hospital Medical Superintendent, Dr Fayyaz Ahmed’s order, regarding his removal was received at 7pm on Wednesday.

“He was made OSD by Punjab Chief Minister but the orders arrived late,” he said.

Dr Fayyaz said that the act of the RMC principal to conduct the convocation would not be illegal, in the sense that the principal received orders on Wednesday but received the official notification at 12:00, on Thursday, soon after the ending of the convocation function.

RMC’s former principal, Prof Dr Mussadiq, Khan told Dawn that he received the removal orders after the convocation. “I gave the charge of the Principal to RMC Professor of Urology, Dr Afzal Farooqi, on the directives of the government, as being a government servant, I have to obey the orders,” he said.

It may be mentioned here that RMC Professor of Urology, Dr Afzal Farooqi, also served two years at the college previously, from March 16, 2010, to January 12, 2012.

He was removed earlier this year by the provincial government, who had appointed Prof Dr Mussadiq Khan, principal of Rawalpindi Medical College and chief executive officer of the three allied hospitals.

Some faculty members requesting not to be named told Dawn that the provincial government made the office of the principal a revolving door, for both Mr Farooqi and Mr Mussadiq.

On the other hand, Young Doctors Association (YDA), Punjab, also announced a protest for Friday, in order to express solidarity with the former principal, who better or for worse managed to retain his office for one extra day.