The promotions of doctors as professors, associate professors and assistant professors as well as allotment of large bungalows to some doctors in Nishtar Hospital and Medical College has created a serious rift among the medics as a group of doctors accused Principal of the college of obliging his blue-eyed people belonging to doctors' representative body PMA, The Nation has learnt.

The members of Friends Group alleged that a group of doctors led by the Principal of Nishtar Hospital and Medical College had held PMA hostage for the last four years. "They have denied the PMA members their right to choose their representatives as no election is held despite lapse of more than two years," alleged Dr Zafar Chaudhry, President of Friends Group.

Nishtar Hospital Principal Dr Sami Akhtar, however, rejected all allegations and claimed that all the promotions were done and bungalows allotted on merit. "These appointments against the posts of professors, associate professors and assistant professors have been made with the approval of Academic Council on temporary basis to fulfil the requirements for Pakistan Medical and Dental Council's (PMDC) inspection," he clarified while talking to this scribe. He said that the promotions were imperative to prevent college from getting derecognized.

The PMDC team visited the hospital for inspection on March 11, while the doctors were given promotions just ahead of its arrival on March 7. Those who have been appointed against professor seats include Dr Shahid Rao, Salma Tanveer, Zahra Nazish, Umar Farooq, Shakil Ahmad, Amir Ali Khan and Mansoor Ali Khan while the associate professors include Hajra Sultana, Mahnaz Khakwani, Azam Mushtaq, ZafarIqbal, Naheed Chaudhry, Abrar Ahmad and Bilal Saed. Similarly, Dr Nazeer Ahmad, Tariq Siddiq, Sibt-e-Hassan, Nusrat Buzdar, Maria Saleem and Malik Ajmal have been appointed against seats of assistant professors.

"The Qabza Group of PMA has got allotted big bungalows to its favourites under the patronage of Principal Nishtar. We'll unveil all irregularities being committed in the hospital and get the doctors their rights," Dr Zafar Chaudhry further alleged. He said that right after what he described as illegal appointments made by the principal, big bungalows were allotted to Dr Shahid Rao, Dr Abdul Mannan and Dr Mahnaz Khakwani in sheer violation of merit. He declared that the Friends Group would launch a drive against alleged illegal promotions, allotments and denial of PMA election. "We're going to convene a General Body meeting of members of PMA on March 27 to form an interim committee on the issue of elections. We'll announce a date for the election too," he declared.