By Jehangir Khan Tareen
MULTAN, Jul 26 (APP):Death is as natural as birth. It is the greatest leveller. None can change the decree of faith as laws of Nature are absolute and we have to bow before them.The great dramatist William Shakespeare rightly said ” Death pays all debts.” In fact, we are born from a quiet sleep, and we die to a calm awakening. It equals the high and the low. Life is like a very short visit to a toy shop between birth and death. Hundreds of thousands of people died of global pandemic including medical gear across the world so far. In Pakistan a number of doctors and nurses have laid down their lives in the line of duty fighting against Coronavirus, but founding Vice Chancellor of Nishtar Medical University (NMU) , Dr Mustafa Kamal Pasha topped all.
He is the first VC of a university who sacrificed his life while saving others’ lives during COVID-19 on July 15.Acknowledging services of late VC, Chief Minister Punjab, Usman Buzdar, announced to nominate Dr Pasha’s name for highest civil award besides a compensation of Rs 8 million under Shaheed Package.In a tweet on Sunday last, CM Punjab said that the way Dr Mustafa Kamal Shaheed led his team during the global pandemic by putting his life in danger was unforgettable.He tweeted: “The way Dr Mustafa Kamal Pasha Shaheed, Vice Chancellor of Nishtar Medical University led his team during the global pandemic was unforgettable. In recognition of his services, we are proposing his name for Pakistan’s highest civil award.# We Salute Health Heroes.”Passing away of Dr Pasha shell-shocked everyone specially doctors’ fraternity in Pakistan as he was considered one of the finest laparoscopic and breast cancer surgeons.
Born on Sept 15, 1959 at Nishtar Hospital, Dr Mustafa Kamal Pasha belonged to the “Naro” family which migrated to Pakistan from Hoshiarpur in India. His father Dr Muhammad Kamal Pasha was professor of medicines and worked as Medical Superintendent at Nishtar Hospital besides teaching at Nishtar Medical College. He also served as cardiologist owing to shortage of heart professionals between 1970s and 80s.Dr Pasha went to La Salle Higher Secondary School and was a brilliant student who got 18 medals including six gold and 12 silver throughout his educational career. After qualifying FSc from Govt Emerson College, he got admission in Nishtar Medical College (NMC) in 1978. The late VC clinched first position in MBBS final year too.With a height of six feet and two inches, he was fond of cricket and played as a spinner in the NMC team.
Former Principal Quaid-i-Azam Medical College, Bahawalpur and motivational speaker, Dr Javid Iqbal told APP that they had been fast friends for forty years.“In 1979, when I was a first year student at NMC, we had a cricket match with second year students during an inter class tournament at Nishtar ground. I was the opener from my team. A tall heighted boy who was a spinner clean bowled me on the first ball of his over when I had scored 15. He was none other than Mustafa Kamal Pasha. By that day, we became friends and our cemented friendship broke after 40 years on the day he left us for his heavenly abode in the same Nishtar ground where he had, once again, clean bowled us all on July 15.” Dr Javid reminisced with a gloomy voice.
He said that they had travelled abroad many times together for training and conferences. After MBBS, Dr Pasha went to England for FRCS from Adumbra followed by training in surgery and spent around 10 years there, but they had always been in touch, the ex principal added.
1n 2017, he was made first VC of Nishtar Medical University for a period of six months and got regular appointment in 2018, Dr Javid informed, adding that Dr Mustafa Kamal was down towards earth though he hailed from a family of doctors.Dr Pasha was considered an introducer of laparoscopic surgery in South Punjab and had conducted thousands of successful surgeries. Recently, he received training in oncoplastic surgery and was imparting knowledge on it to his students.
He wanted to launch robotic surgery in Nishtar hospital besides introducing new programmes of higher education to make NMU one of the top medical universities in Pakistan.Talking to APP NMU acting VC, Dr Ahmad Ijaz Masood said that Dr Mustafa Kamal Pasha dedicated himself for Nishtar as he was born in Nishtar Hospital and lived throughout his life in it.He resided in different bungalows of the health facility with his father first and then after getting a job stayed there in various houses in different capacities.It was a demand of the medics’ fraternity which was met by Punjab Government for late VC meritorious services for the profession and specially against COVID-19.
He was the first VC who fell victim to the virus of any medical university.Executive Director Chaudhary Pervaiz Elahi Institute of Cardiology (CPEIC), Dr Rana Altaf said that July 15 was the saddest day of his life because his lovely friend and a prolific clinician had left for his final destination in heaven.Death of Dr Mustafa Kamal was not only an irreparable loss for the profession, but also for the country, he said and added that unfortunately the field was losing experts day by day.After being hospitalized for over a month, Dr Mustafa Kamal Pasha packed up on July 15.