DERA GHAZI KHAN

The students of Ghazi Khan Medical College (GKMC) here locked its gates and stopped the staff including the principal from entering the college as a protest which entered fourth day on Saturday.

The students were protesting for recognition of the college by the Pakistan Medical and Dental Council (PMDC). They staged a demonstration and set up a protest camp in front of the main gate of college. They also burnt to uniforms. They blocked Jampur Road for many hours and shouted slogans against Punjab chief minister and secretary health. Workers of different political parties and members of civil society also joined the demonstration and voiced solidarity with the students.

Final year students Ziam Khalid, Awais Saeed and Umair Tariq, talking to The Nation, expressed disappointment, and said that even after six years of its establishment and passing out of first batch of students, the government of Punjab has not taken the matter seriously.

Female students Azka Fatima and Mehreen Afzal said that on one side, the government claimed that billions of rupees had been spent for the security of students across the country. On the other side, they added, the students were protesting for their right on the road without any security under the nose of district government. They demanded that Punjab police should provide security for the students as sons and daughters of nation are on the roads.

“Punjab government has put the careers of 600 medical students in jeopardy and uncertainty. Our first batch has completed 5 years of study yesterday, as final viva voce was conducted on Friday. Our degree is worthless and we cannot get house job in hospital unless our college is recognised by the PMDC,” the students said.

Jamaat-e-Islami Punjab Naib Ameer Sheikh Usman Farooq criticised the poor performance and discrimination of chief minister Punjab for recognition of Ghazi Khan Medical College. He said that Jamaat-e-Islami will support the students and voice against the negligence of Secretary Health who had not to honour the written promise/assurance in this regard. .

When approached, Principal Shahmim Hassan said that the Punjab government had transferred two professors here. If remaining medical faculty members have been transferred here, PMDC will recognise college easily, now it depends upon the action of Punjab government, he said.

The foundation stone of the Ghazi Khan Medical College DG Khan was laid by the Punjab chief minister on November 27, 2010. Its building was constructed at a cost of Rs2 billion. Its first batch of 100 students was admitted in the session 2010-11 at Quaid-i-Azam Medical College Bahawalpur due to under-construction building at DG Khan. Later, it was shifted to the building of School of Nursing at DG Khan on November 28, 2011. Now, it has been shifted to its own campus situated at Jampur Road Degree College Chowk.

Medical College Campus consists of 229 acre land having 4 lecture halls, 5 demonstration halls, 4 labs, 1 museum, 1 library, 1 cafeteria, 7 basic departments, one boys’ hostel and one girls’ hostel, admin block and 500-bed Teaching Hospital DG Khan. However, the PMDC has not recognised Ghazi Khan Medical College DG Khan due to acute shortage of faculty members.