Taking up the mantle: Govt appoints new principal for Khyber Medical College

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The Khyber-Pakhtunkhwa (K-P) Health Department on Friday appointed Dr Ejaz Hassan Khan as the new principal of Khyber Medical College (KMC), Peshawar, replacing former principal Professor Dr Noorul Iman.

Dr Khan graduated from KMC and went on to do his MPhil and PhD from Armed Forces Institute of Pathology, Rawalpindi. He has also served as a professor in the Pathology Department of KMC.

Dr Iman, on the other hand, was appointed for the post in December 2012 when he became the 24th principal of KMC. During his tenure, the previous K-P coalition government of ANP and PPP was criticised for the fact that the junior-most professor was selected for the post while many seniors were ignored.

Interestingly, the new principal is also a junior and five other senior professors were not considered for appointment as the head of the institution.

These five senior officials include Head of the Pathology Department Laiqat Ali Khan, Professor at Physiology Department Nargis Perveen, Head of the Faculty of Medicine Zafar Hayat, Head of Orthopedic Department Zafar Durani and Head of the Paediatrics Department Nadeem Khawar.

Amongst these, Dr Parveen and Dr Ali are the senior-most, but they were not offered the coveted post. Dr Ali even approached Peshawar High Court (PHC) regarding the issue, but the case has not yet been decided.

An official wishing not to be named said there are several official groups in the college who are affiliated with different political parties. And each political party wants to appoint their person as the head of the college. “Since the last ten months, the opposition group wanted to place their man on the position and at last they were successful in doing so,” he alleged.

Speaking about Dr Iman, he said the former principal had made some positive contributions, but the opposition was not happy with his appointment. The new principal has a strong political background and is also the nephew of renowned scholar late Professor Pareshan Khattak, he added.

When contacted, Professor Dr Iman said: “I am an employee of the government and it is their wish to keep me on a post or not.” He added he was a professor earlier and will now continue being one at the college.

Dr Iman admitted he was a junior when appointed as the principal, but his experience in administration and academics made him eligible for the position.

K-P Health Department Special Secretary Akbar Khan told The Express Tribune the government has decided to appoint a senior official as head of the college as the previous one was a junior.

When reminded there are officials more senior than the new head of the college, Akbar explained their retirement is as close as five or six months. “Dr Khan was appointed because he has [more] time until retirement and also has experience in academics and administration.”

He said the provincial health department sent a summary to Chief Minister Pervez Khattak to nominate one person from a list of proposed candidates. Khattak then elected Dr Khan as the new head of the college, after which a notification was issued on Friday and the new principal took charge.

Source: The Express Tribune.