CJP snubs Punjab Health Minister

Lahore: Chief Justice of Pakistan Mian Saqib Nisar on Sunday came down hard on Punjab Health Minister Yasmeen Rashid over the provincial government’s performance in the health sector. A two-judge bench, headed by the chief justice, reprimanded the minister over failure to comply with the court directives for carrying out first ever pediatric liver transplant at the Pakistan Liver and Kidney Research Institute (PKLI). “The institute had been given to private individuals despite the government having spent Rs22 billion on it. It should have been taken over by the government,” Justice Nisar remarked. When asked about legislation with regard to PKLI, the minister said a draft bill had been sent to the provincial law department for review and approval. “You gave a similar reply at the previous hearing,” the chief justice said, expressing displeasure over what he said the government’s lip-service. “You don’t want the Supreme Court to help the Punjab government.” He questioned whether the first ever liver transplant surgery was performed at the institute? “We had given the deadline for carrying out the first surgery. This is your performance.” “Bibi, you have to take care of it but you haven’t been doing anything,” Justice Nisar said while pointing to the minister. “You and the Punjab government pay mere lip service at every hearing.” “Incompetence and inefficiency have reached their peaks in Punjab. You haven’t been able to form even a commission till day. We are making the government’s incompetence in the case as a part of the court’s written order,” the chief justice said. “You have failed to provide healthcare facilities in the province.” The case was adjourned till the last week of February.