ISLAMABAD: A Senate committee on Friday expressed its concerns about the fate of some 220 employees of the Pakistan Medical and Dental Council which was dissolved by the federal government through an ordinance earlier in the week.
The issue was raised during a meeting of the Senate Functional Committee on Human Rights which met in the Parliament House on Friday with Pakistan Peoples Party (PPP) Senator Mustafa Nawaz Khokhar in the chair.
During the meeting, the federal health secretary briefed the committee about the Pakistan Medical Commission Ordinance 2019. He assured the committee that of the 212 employees of the now-defunct Pakistan Medical and Dental Council (PMDC), 98 workers in basic pay scale (BPS) grade 1-4 will be rehired for the newly-formed Pakistan Medical Commission — which replaces PMDC.
He further said that the fate of the remaining officials will be decided by the commission after hearing these employees.
Khokhar inquired about the fate of some PMDC employees who had recently retired.
“These people spent their entire life serving the council, how can their pension and other perks be stopped,” he asked.
Khokhar also expressed concerns over how the health ministry, through the Islamabad Police and Islamabad Capital Territory Administration (ICTA) took over the PMDC building and shut it down.
Muttahida Qaumi Movement-Pakistan (MQM-P) Senator Barrister Ali Saif remarked that it was perplexing how, owing to the alleged corruption of some, the entire institution was dissolved.
PMDC employees protest against body’s dissolution
He further remarked that since the new PMC council has been formed, its representatives should have briefed the committee. Moreover, he said that Federal Human Rights Minister Dr Shireen Mazari should have briefed the committee about the issue.
The committee sought a list of PMDC employees who were being probed by the National Accountability Bureau (NAB) and the Senate panel was also briefed about the case of student harassment at Balochistan University.
The varsity’s vice-chancellor told the committee that some 92 closed-circuit television (CCTV) cameras have been installed across the university to monitor and maintain security. He added that they discovered that some seven hidden cameras had also been installed of which six had been caught.
He said that the university was concerned about this shameless act while further investigations are underway. He further added that the former VC had been suspended over this issue and the next hearing of the case is expected to be held on October 29.
The vice-chancellor requested committee members to visit the university.
National Commission on the Status of Women (NCSW) Chairperson Khawar Mumtaz submitted her report to the committee and urged that its recommendations regarding the anti-harassment law in Balochistan should be implemented across the country.
Published in The Express Tribune, October 26th, 2019.