Lahore - Chief Justice of Pakistan Justic Saqib Nisar Saturday patted Punjab Health Minister Dr Yasmin Rashid on the back and advised her not be rattled due to the opposition’s criticism.

During the hearing of a case at the Supreme Court’s Lahore Registry, the chief justice said, “You will not be let quit; you should keep doing your job. There is no need to get worried. You are very honourable lady. Your entire career is stainless.”

While encouraging the health minister, the chief justice gave the minister his own example, saying: “Campaigns are run against us too; there are such Whatsapp groups as carry out such campaigns. Should we stop working in such situation?” He further remarked that her character was praiseworthy and “we do not have the words to appreciate her”.

The health minister sensitised the court to her worries regarding the demands of her resignation as she has been on the receiving end of severe criticism by the chief justice in recent weeks. Firstly, the chief justice had reprimanded her over the issue of Punjab Healthcare Commission’s board and then on a lack of legislation regarding Pakistan Kidney and Liver Institute (PKLI). The chief justice had expressed his disappointment with her performance since she assumed the charge.

Saying that he had a lot of expectations from her, the chief justice appreciated Dr Rashid when told by the minister that his recent remarks had led to the opposition demanding her resignation.

Earlier, the Supreme Court had dissolved the Punjab Healthcare Commission board formed by the government and issued contempt notices to health minister, the provincial chief secretary, and the secretary and additional secretary health, asking them why the board was constituted sans the court’s approval.

The court had said, “The board was notified without the Supreme Court’s approval. The respondents are directed to respond to the contempt notices within two days.”

In November, the apex court had dissolved the then PHC Board of Commissioners and ordered for a new board to be formed within two weeks.