The Peshawar High Court has restrained the Khyber-Pakhtunkhwa government from transferring Zulfikar Ali Bhutto (ZAB) Medical College from Peshawar to Nowshera till further orders are issued.
Ghulam Mohiuddin Malik, counsel for the petitioner former agriculture minister Arbab Ayub Jan, told Justice Yahya Afridi and Justice Musarrat Hilali on Thursday the construction of Zulfikar Ali Bhutto Medical College was originally approved for Peshawar. The government constructed a building and also appointed staff for the college.
However, Malik added, Chief Minister Pervez Khattak, who hails from Nowshera, then decided to relocate the college to his home constituency.
The decision is based on politics, he said. If the CM wants to set up the medical college in his hometown then he needs to approve a separate one for it, argued Arbab Ayub Jan’s lawyer.
After hearing the arguments, the bench restricted the provincial government from moving the medical college to Nowshera from Peshawar till July 22 and sought comments from the provincial government.
In mid-2012, the previous Awami National Party-led government approved the construction of ZAB Medical College in Peshawar. It was decided the college would offer 50% of its seats to full fee-paying local students and 20% to foreign students who would be self-financed and pay $6,000 per year. Another 20% of the seats were allotted for self-financed locals while the remaining seats were left for children of employees of the health department.
In March, 2014, the Pakistan Tehreek-e-Insaf-led government decided to move ZAB Medical College from Peshawar to Nowshera even though the institute was supposed to enrol 50 students for the 2014 session in Peshawar.
Published in The Express Tribune, July 18th, 2014.