Last March I was part of a team serving in Kandiaro and treating those women who can’t afford health care. We had worked with discarded catgut sutures and no diathermy. I had promised shershah that I will return and be part of the team again.
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Visit to Pakistan 2010

Weather in Derby was as usual as ever for this time of the year. Cold and trees devoid of any leaves.   8 am on the road contrast between sunny karachi and gloomy winter morning in Derby was so wide.
I had visited Pakistan in December 09. I had planned to return and attend the Surgical society of Pakistan’s meeting (SURGICON 09) at Karachi from 11/01/10 till 16/01/10; therefore, duly arrived in Karachi on Sunday 10/01/10 and made a hurriedly organised day trip to Muzaffarabad.
I took an early morning flight to Islamabad from Karachi. Khwaja Arshad picked me from the airport at 9 am. He took me to his house were I was offered a sumptuous breakfast. He took me to Muzaffarabad via Murree and Kohala (3and ½ hour drive). I spent all afternoon negotiating and cajoling Raja Sajjad who agreed not to interfere any more provided we bought construction material from him and relinquish the services of Panjabi workforce (we moan about racism by whites). Therefore, rather than agree to such scandalous demands I gave the contract for work force at Rs350 per square foot with all the material being provided by us to another contractor. I was grateful to Mr Bashir who helped me in my endeavours on that day. I returned to Islamabad same evening and took a flight back to Karachi. I arrived in Karachi at 1 am 12/01/10 and was at Civil Hospital Karachi at 9 am to conduct a surgical workshop.

Dr Iftikhar Chair MDAUK and Dr Amir Khan on one sunny day in Newquay UK.

Amir Khan, Aijaz Jabbar and I were the foreign faculty members on the workshop course organised by surgical society of Pakistan. The workshop was held in the dow78 thetare complex and its linked lecture theatre with video links. We worked every day all day long from 11/01 to 15/01/10. It was the most enjoyable time of our professional life as we performed a number of advanced laparoscopic procedures. It was received well by the audience and I believe they learnt a number of perioperative, operative and post operative techniques from us. We capped it all by delivering lectures at the meeting on Saturday the 16th January at the meeting held at the Ramada Hotel. Amir gave a lecture on morbid obesity and measures for its control. The session was very well attended and immensely interactive. He held his own and educated seniors and juniors alike in his inimitable brummy (Birmingham/black country) accent. Aijaz jabbar gave a talk on laparoscopic colorectal surgery and I expressed my views on oesophageal cancer; its current treatment and future.

It was a bit tiring but every bit of it was worthwhile. We were entertained exceptionally well by friends at Karachi. We were hosted by Abbas Zafar on the very first evening and were treated with Bihari Kabab. I visited Dr Shamim (ret surgeon from Abbasi Shahid hospital and ex VC Hamdard University). His son Dr Shahid Shamim had worked with me in the past and is currently Asst Prof in surgery at the Civil Hospital Karachi.

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Dr Asrar