CJP tells ‘respectable’ Dr Yasmin Rashid to not be fazed by criticism


–SC seeks govt’s reply over sale of medicines in plastic bottles

LAHORE: Chief Justice of Pakistan (CJP) Mian Saqib Nisar on Saturday lauded Punjab Health Minister Dr Yasmin Rashid’s services, as he advised her to not be fazed by criticism.

Dr Rashid has been on the receiving end of severe criticism by the chief justice in recent weeks, first over the issue of Punjab Healthcare Commission’s board and then on a lack of legislation regarding Pakistan Kidney and Liver Institute (PKLI).

The chief justice had expressed his disappointment with Dr Rashid’s performance since taking charge, saying that he had a lot of expectations from her.

However, in what seemed a departure from his evaluation of the minister’s conduct, the chief justice on Saturday appreciated Dr Rashid when told by the minister that his recent remarks had led to the opposition demanding her resignation.

“[We] will not let you resign; you should keep doing your work,” the top judge said while addressing Dr Rashid during the hearing on private universities. “There is no need to be worried. You are very respectable. Your entire career has been stainless.”

Justice Nisar offered the minister advice from his personal experience, saying: “Campaigns are run against us as well; there are such Whatsapp groups. Should we stop working in such a situation then?”

“Your character is worthy of admiration and we do not have the words to appreciate with,” the judge added.

Separately, the top court sought an explanation from the Punjab  Environment Protection Department in response to a petition over the sale of medicines in plastic bottles.

The petitioner in his plea had said that people contracted different diseases due to unhygienic plastic bottles of medicines. He had requested the court to order the sale of drugs with quality packing to ensure the safety of consumers.

During the course of proceedings on Saturday, the court said that medicines were also sold in plastic bottles in the United States.

CEO of the Drug Regulatory Authority of Pakistan (DRAP) told the court that plastic bottles were of international standards and did not result in any side effects.

However, CJP Nisar said that sunlight must have affects on medicines packed in plastic bottles and sought an explanation from the Punjab Environment Protection Department.