Unfair Awarding of Civil Awards

19th August 2021.

The latest update from Karachi apprises about the blow and disappointment exhibited by the frontline healthcare professionals in the war against COVID-19 as the government had overlooked them while deliberating civil awards notwithstanding the services they rendered throughout the noxious pandemic.

Numerous individuals of the medical crew compromised their lives for the citizens of Pakistan during the pandemic but only two healthcare professionals were enlisted for the enthronement of the civil awards.

President of Pakistan announced the Civil Awards for a total of 126 people, comprising foreign nationals, as an acknowledgment of their services in different fields of life on August 14, 2021, but paradoxically, there were only two medical professionals on the list, whose names were forwarded from Sindh. Pakistan has so far lost 168 healthcare professionals due to COVID-19, Dr. Shehla Baqi from DUHS, Karachi, and Dr. Muhammad Haroon Memon from Badin was the only ones who were enlisted for the civil awards.


A renowned, healthcare professional, Dr. Saad Khalid Niaz, was displeased with the unfair bestowing of Pakistan civil awards amongst several only when over 200 healthcare professionals have died while serving patients. Dr. Saad, who is already a beneficiary of Sitara-e-Imtiaz for acknowledgment of his services in medicine, said he was conferring to return the award to the President of Pakistan for ignoring other healthcare professionals. Another healthcare professional and renowned psychiatrist Prof Iqbal Afridi said that their contributions were recognized till the last year but are unnoticed now.

Distinguished transplant surgeon Prof Saeed Akhtar, renowned hematologist and BMT surgeon and known pulmonologist Prof Sohail Akhtar also condemned the authorities for disregarding the healthcare professionals while announcing the Pakistan Civil Awards, saying this discrimination could have grave ramifications for the already friable healthcare structure of Pakistan.

To these complaints, Federal Planning and Development Minister Asad Umar responded that the health ministry makes recommendations for the national awards for healthcare professionals, henceforth they should be held accountable for this scheme as the commission did not rebuff any commended names.

Please contact the Legal Research Institute of Pakistan for further assistance

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