ISLAMABAD – The National Assembly on Thursday passed Shaheed Zulfikar Ali Bhutto Medical University Bill amid a strong protest from the opposition benches.

The house, with a thin presence from both the sides of the aisle, witnessed legislation of only three agenda items and was adjourned abruptly after passage of the ‘The Shaheed Zulfikar Ali Bhutto Medical University, 2013, Bill.

Legislators from PML-N and MQM rose on their seats, shouting slogans, when Capital Administration and Development Minister Nazar Muhammad Gondal tabled the bill in the house. Chanting slogans “Quaid ki toheen na manzoor”, “Mohsin-e-Azam Quaid-e-Azam” and “Quaid ka ehsan Pakistan Pakistan,” the opposition members stood in front of the speaker’s dice and remained there till completion of counting on the bill. Deputy Speaker Faisal Karim Kundi repeatedly asked the opposition benches to share their views on the bill, but they kept on chanting slogans. “If any member wants to speak, I will give floor to him,” said the deputy speaker thrice.

The opposition lawmakers, holding the pictures of Quaid-e-Azam, strongly opposed the change of the name of PIMS. “We will not accept insult of our Quaid at any cost,” they said, chanting slogans.

The chapter-3 of the bill says, “The Faculty of Medicine, Quaid-e-Azam University, shall be transferred to Shaheed Zulfikar Ali Bhutto Medical University and cease to exist, while all students thereafter will be transferred in a six-month time.”

The statements of objects and reasons say, “The government is committed to standardising medical education by encouraging extensive research in the field of medical sciences in such a manner to provide for better patient care.”

It says, “In order to provide more opportunities to students for higher education, the Education Policy 2009 also emphasises upon increased enrolment at all levels of education, including higher education.”

“Towards this objective, the Pakistan Institute of Medical Sciences (PIMS), Islamabad, has proposed establishment of Shaheed Zulfikar Ali Bhutto Medical University, Pakistan Institute of Medical Sciences (PIMS), Islamabad,” it added.