A senior minister of Punjab Chief Minister (CM) Sardar Usman Buzdar-led cabinet has picked up a fight with the medical superintendent of a teaching hospital over the alleged disregard of his orders of the transfer of a female medical officer (MO) who belonged to an influential political family, reliable sources disclosed to The Nation on Sunday.

The senior minister of Buzdar’s cabinet phoned the MS and directed him to transfer the MO in ward/department of her choice, sources said. However, sources added that the MS has blatantly refused to bow before any political pressure to revert his orders.

The row over an MO’s transfer, who is said to be daughter of PML-N stalwart and jailed ex-MNA Muhammad Hanif Abbasi, has taken a swift contrast to the claims of Prime Minister Imran Khan and Punjab CM Usman Buzdar that the government would not interfere into the internal affairs of the departments in centre or in the provincial set up, said the political observers interviewed by this correspondent over unprecedented move of a senior minister.

According to sources, it all began when Dr Tariq Mehmood Khan Niazi sought the list of names of three doctors from the head of Skin Department to transfer them to Emergency Department to meet the shortage of doctors there. Head of Skin Department has forwarded the names of three MOs - including Dr Areeba Abbasi, the daughter of PML-N stalwart Muhammad Hanif Abbasi - for filing the vacant posts in ER Department of BBH, sources said.

By using his officials powers, MS Dr Tariq Niazi transferred and posted the three MOs in ER including Dr Areeba Abbasi and issued a notification in this regard. Nonetheless, MO Dr Areeba Abbasi denied her transfer orders and had refused to join her new place of job. She also remained absent for last three weeks while hampering the health process in ER of BBH.

On this, a senior minister of Punjab government has ranged MS BBH up and instructed him to revert transfer orders of MO Dr Areeba Abbasi immediately and posted her in Skin Department. The MS, however, refused to accept orders of provincial minister, while informing him that Skin Department of BBH has already packed with 30 doctors including 20 PGTs and there was dire need of doctors in ER to provide health facilities to patients.

Ignoring all the departmental rules and regulations implemented by MS, the minsiter lost his mind over Dr Tariq Niazi and asked him to immediately revert transfer orders of Dr Areeba Abbasi and to restore her on her old position, which was denied by MS.

The senior minister then threatened the MS of dire consequences. “What kind of person are you, who doesn't know how to talk to a minister. You would no more be MS of BBH by Monday,” sources quoted the minister as saying. When contacted, MS BBH Dr Mehmood Khan Niazi confirmed that he was phoned by the minister and threatened him for sacking from his office for not reverting orders of MO Dr Areeba Abbasi. The minister and spokesman of Punjab government were not available for their comments.