Islamabad - Pakistan Institute of Medical Sciences (PIMS) Employees Association on Thursday announced to call off the 25-day long strike after getting assurance from the Minister of Capital Administration & Development Division (CADD).

The Minister of State for CADD Dr Tariq Fazal Chaudhry visited PIMS and informed the protesting employees that federal cabinet has approved the summary of separating PIMS Hospital from Shaheed Zulfiqar Ali Bhutto Medical University (SZABMU) and both institutions are administratively separate now.

The minister said that he will try to pass the bill from the parliament in upcoming session so the protesting employees must end the strike and resume their duties.

The minister assured the protestors that there is no hurdle in passing the bill and PIMS is administratively an ‘independent’ department where the Vice-Chancellor has no role.

The minister said that it was difficult to run one department with two administrators, as both were complaining against each other and not taking responsibility for the problems.

He also promised the employees to facilitate them in services structure. The leader of Employees Association, Dr Asfandyar Khan on this occasion, announced to call off the strike and join the duties welcoming the decision of the federal cabinet and the CADD minister.

He said that the minister has assured that the bill will be presented in the upcoming session of the parliament without any delay and will be passed within days.

“All the staff would resume their duties from tomorrow and Outdoor Patient Departments (OPDs) would be fully functional,” he said.

Dr Asfandyar also said that the role of VC SZABMU would not be acceptable at PIMS now.

However, sources said that some sections including paramedics and other staff were not satisfied with the minister’s guarantee and opposed the decision of calling off the strike until all the legal procedure was completed. An official said that all this procedure had been done in 2016 but the separation process was not completed.

“A compromise has been made to end the strike, however, all the objectives have not been achieved and employees were confused about the protest’s end,” the official said.

Chairman Employees Association Sharif Khattak addressing the protestors said that if the legislation process remained incomplete in upcoming parliament session, the employees will again stage their protest.

As per the legal procedure, the separation bill of PIMS from SZABMU will be presented at National Assembly, Senate and concerned standing committees and finally will be approved by the President of Pakistan.

However, the minister and administrator PIMS Dr Altaf Hussain said that now separating the PIMS from SZABMU is a matter of days.

PIMS was merged with SZABMU through Act of Parliament in 2013.