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Demonstrator at de' Montmorency College of Dentistry, Lahore

de’Montmorency College of Dentistry, Lahore 1967-69.

The Government of West Pakistan put dental surgeons at par with lady health visitors as class-III officers. Dr. Soofi was a popular student leader and he was president Pakistan Dental Association Centre both Wings 1968-69, he protested against the Government and took out a procession from Dental Hospital to Governor House on the Mall Road. It was a very disciplined protest march of dental surgeons wearing white coats. No traffic was stopped. The procession reached at the gate of Governor House Lt. Gen. Musa had his last day as Governor Punjab. Dr. Soofi climbed at the gate and entered inside Governor House and gate was opened. Dr. Soofi pleaded that University of Punjab conducted 4 professional examination of MBBS and it also conducted 4 professional examination of BDS, then why should there be disparity in the status of the two degree holder of the same status, BDS courses are being taught by the respected, learned teachers of KEMC for about three years. Dental graduates are equally qualified healers of a very important part of the body maxilla and mandible. Dr. Soofi was supported by the young dental students and dental doctors both private and public sector. So Government was compelled to equate the dental graduate with the medical graduate, it was a great success of PDA Lahore headed by Dr. Soofi for up lift of dental profession.  Certainly it was innovation and commitment of Dr. Soofi who was equipped with more professional values and with a team of dedicated workers.  Dental surgeons felt a great boost and pride for their status at par with medical graduate.  It is luck of dental profession that Prof. Dr. M. A. Soofi  was appointed Principal of College of Community Medicine, Lahore in 1991 after decision of Supreme Court of Pakistan and retired on 28.07.1991.  

 

PMA PARTICIPATION

Dr. Soofi was equally very active in Pakistan Medical Association and he was Finance Secretary of Lahore being its life member.  His wife Dr. Mrs. Iqbal Soofi was also life member and was active in the activities of PMA. Both husband and wife possessed the philosophy of serving the ailing humanity with profound integrity and they were doing flood relief work during 1973, 1975 and their efforts wee appreciated by the then Prime Minister of Pakistan Mr. Zulfiqar Ali Bhutto and other people’s Party Leaders like Malik Miraj Khalid, Sh. Rafiq Ahmed, Mr. Hanif Ramey and Dr. Abdul Khaliq.  

 

There was election of PMA, Lahore Branch.  Prof. Ghulam Shabbir was president, some members objected that Dental Surgeons cannot cast vote in PMA election. Dr. Soofi was life member and Finance Secretary in Dr. Bashir A. Malik Cabinet. Dr. Rana Ashfaq was General Secretary. Dr. Soofi put up an application in the Session Court.  Dr. Soofi asked the professor and their legal council, they should prove that Mandible and Maxilla are not part of the body and their healers are not being taught Anatomy, Physiology, Pathology and surgery in the same institutions. The Judge asked the Council of PMA to prove it.  The answer was, it is part of the body. Decision of Judge was “he can cast vote and can contest the election”. It was another unique success of dental profession.

 

Dr. Soofi held Seminar on Dental Care of Mother and Child at Lahore for 3 days in 1973.  It was inaugurated by Governor Punjab, Federal Health Minister Sh. Rasheed Ahmed and Provincial Health Minister, Brig. Sahibdad Khan had presided.  It was attended by large number of medical and dental doctors. Dr. Soofi had been elected as President of Pakistan Dental Association Center (1968-70), he had gone to U. K. University of Dundee for his postgraduate diploma in Public Health Dentistry, on his return, he was posted as a dental surgeon Mardan. So he handed over Pakistan Dental Association
Dr.
Aslam Choudhry as General Secretary. 

 

So when he was back in Lahore in 1973, his dental teachers, Prof. Saleem Cheema,  Prof. B. A. Yazdanie, Dr. Hafiz and junior dental surgeon had meeting in Lahore to compel Dr. Soofi to be back in Pakistan Dental Association.  So PDA, Lahore was formed, he was elected President PDA, Lahore in 1973 and retires in 1996, he head PDA, Lahore for 23 years and PDA Centre for 4 years.  Dr. Soofi was given some more expertise by nature for solution of problems of dental profession. He was committed to integrity and used to enjoy such achievements. Other than dental articles and research, he was a library star among that circle.  He was a gifted speaker and urged the dental surgeons to increase their knowledge and to keep themselves upto date. Dr. Soofi struggled to bring the dental profession at par with the medical one.  

 

During the stay at dental college, the colleagues of Dr. Soofi were unhappy because he was doing frequent  periodontal surgeries and was becoming popular among the patients so complaints were lodged with Dr. H. R. Shah, the then Principal that Dr. Soofi mostly does work of gums surgery, so H. R. Shah, asked Dr. Soofi ‘you should replace me’ teach dental anatomy and tooth morphology to the students, Dr. Soofi used to be given extracted teeth to make class-I and class-II and III, IV cavities in them.  So in this way Dr. Soofi became an expert in this field.  During this period Dr. H. R. Shah who was Regent of International College of Dentists, recommended Dr. Soofi to FICD and in 1969 after his death Dr. Soofi was appointed as Regent of International College of Dentists, USA Section No. 24 for Pakistan, Afghanistan and Bangladesh and he holds this office todate. After attaining his age, Dr. Soofi wrote a letter to all fellows for his replacement but nobody had replied except two letters from Dr. Shuja ud Din Qureshi and Dr. Ejaz Sheikh which are reproduced below.  Dr. Soofi took part in the burial of Dr. H. R. Shah.  After his death Dr. Haider Tirmzi became principal of de’Montmorency College of Dentistry. Dr. Haider Tirmzi was teacher in Orthodontics and he gave farewell lunch in Gymkhana to Dr. Soofi for his departure to U. K. in 1969.  Dr. Haider Tirmzi was staff president during his whole life 1955 and had had issued him a certificate which is reproduced so as Dr. H. R. has given certificate..