Creation of task force on education beyond present government’s constitutional powers: PIMA

Islamabad, 27 December 2023: The Pakistan Islamic Medical Association (PIMA) has expressed deep concern over the establishment of a Task Force on Medical Education and Patient Care by the Central Government, stating it considered it an unconstitutional step by the Caretaker Government.

The Central Executive Council stated in a joint resolution that the Task Force established at the end of November 2023, with its formal announcement made on December 18, 2023, went beyond the powers granted to the caretaker government by the Constitution of Pakistan. This unilateral action by the Caretaker Minister and government was unconstitutional, as it directly contradicted Chapter 14, Section 230, Subsection 2-C of the Constitution, which was explicit in not granting complete autonomy to the caretaker government. On the other hand, the basic requirements were not taken into account in the approval of the committee or the task force and the appointment of members.

PIMA believed that the improvement of medical education and consequently better patient care was an important and continuous process. This process required transparency and a collective effort to formulate a policy consistent with national requirements.

PIMA understood that the majority of the population in Pakistan resided in rural areas. Therefore, any initiative to bring about urgency in the standards of medical education and training had to be aligned with the ground realities. Improving the factors affecting patient care required better resources. For the representation in the Task Force, all stakeholders had to be included. Hence, PIMA demanded that the caretaker government adhere to its constitutional limits and relinquish formation of Task Forces on the elected government. PIMA appealed to the Caretaker Prime Minister and especially the Chief Justice of Pakistan to ensure that caretaker ministers, whether central or provincial be bound to govern state affairs in accordance with constitutional procedures. Governmental actions had to be in accordance with the powers outlined in the constitution. The judiciary, in this regard, has to bind the caretaker government to refrain from actions exceeding constitutional powers.

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