ISLAMABAD, March 9: Prime Minister Yousuf Raza Gilani on Friday appointed Prof Zaheer Abbasi, a senior faculty member Pakistan Institute of Medical Sciences (Pims), as new principal of the Federal Medical and Dental College (FMDC), Dawn has learnt reliably.
He will replace Prof Mehmood Jamal, executive director of the Pakistan Institute of Medical Sciences, who relinquished his charge on March 8 over an admission row between the faculty members of Pims and the college management.
The Pakistan Medical and Dental Council (PMDC) had increased the provinces quota in the college from 50 seats to 100 but the Pims faculty members were neither intimated nor were admissions to the new seats ever advertised by the college.
As a result, many faculty members and heads of departments openly voiced their concerns over the increase in seats and declared the admissions to the college as `controversial`.
In April last year, the PMDC had given provisional approval for the 50-seat college on the premises of Pims, an attached teaching hospital of the FMDC. The recognition of the college was primarily approved because of the faculty and infrastructure of Pims.
“I have taken over the FMDC as its new principal after issuance of a notification in this regard by the officials concerned [cabinet secretary],” Prof Abbasi told Dawn.Prof Abbasi is a pediatric surgeon and head of pediatric surgery department at the Children Hospital of the Pims having 24 years of experience.
According to an official of the Pims, Prof Ghazala Mahmood is the senior most faculty member while Prof Mehmood Jamal, Prof Aslam Shah and Prof Zaheer Abbasi come next on the ladder.
The official said that Prof Jamal had stepped down whereas Prof Ghazala and Prof Shah were set to retire this year while Prof Abbasi had still few years in federal government service.
Replying to a question, Prof Abbasi insisted: “There is no confusion in admission policy as all the deserving students have been selected on merit as per the defined quota of the federal government.”
Almost 7,000 students applied from all over Pakistan and we selected the top 100 so attaching any controversy with the admissions will be unfair.”
Replying to a question regarding ignoring the faculty during the last six months since its establishment, he said: “You should better put this question to the former principal [Prof Jamal]. I don`t have any answers for this.”
Prof Abbasi claimed that he would take the faculty members of the Pims on board on every matter.
The new principal an optimistic tone said session in the college had begun since February 27 and all the 100 students were attending their classes regularly.
Meanwhile, the faculty members of the Pims said that they would adopt wait and see policy. Prof Khaleequz Zaman told Dawn: “We welcome the appointment of the new principal and are hopeful that they (FMDC management) will take the faculty members on board in decision-making process.”