Behind the Curtains With Dr. Asad Aslam - An Interview with the Pro Vice Chancellor

Behind the Curtains


The Inside Man

              By Taroob Latef & Moeed Ahmed

A proud Ravian, can watch Roger Moore films day and night, loves Chicken Burgers and enjoys hanging out at Marco Polo PC.

Prof Dr. Asad entered the conference room, quiet and shy, with only two things in his hand. His blackberry and a solid pen. Both of which he aligned perfectly on the table. We began anxiously, unaware that this would be probably the most interesting half hr ever spent with a professor.

Q. Favourite colour?

Q. Favourite movie?
Lawrence of Arabia and Jinnah.

Q.  Favourite song?
Any national song.

Q. Favourite sport?

Q. Favourite cricket player?
Majid Khan. ( He added in the same breath that amid the thousands of captains we have seen, Imran Khan stays No. 1)

Q. Given the opportunity to pack your bags and go, where would you go?
London (Oxford Street in particular, VC has some taste =D)

Q. How do you spend your free time?
Watch a movie.

Q. Who are you most friends with among your colleagues?
(To which he first laughed) You see, for the last three years I don’t think I have visited many friends. Morning and night I am working in university and the hospital. But my two best friends remain Shahid Gul and Asif Karmani (two people who we are sure will be honoured, if they read their name here).

“The most embarrassing moment of my life
was getting caught the first and only time I
smoked in matric by my mom. I never
smoked after that.” =P

Q. How were you as a student?
We got an immediate reply. The VC didn’t take a second to think and laughed: Average! =P

Q. Who did you idolize as a student?
Dr. Arif Agha and still do.

Q. Any student that you were/are impressed by as a teacher?
Sidrah Latif (4th yr)! I find her brilliant, composed, hard working and intellectual.

Q. A memorable moment of your life?
The happiness on my father’s face when I completed my post graduation in ophthalmology is something that will always be my favourite moment.

Q. An embarrassing moment of your life?
To which he very honestly replied: Getting caught the first and only time I smoked in matric by my mom. I never smoked after that. =P

Q. Rate the following out of ten:

1. KE’s CafĂ© - 7

2. KE as a university - 8

3. Eye as a specialty - 10

Q. Rate yourself as a VC. =P
No amount of coercion or rephrasing or spoon feeding words would make him rate himself. He blushed and said: self-assessment is hard and self-praise harder. This is for you guys to judge.

Q. In the start of your VC-ship, you must have had some aims. How far have you been successful in making them possible?
I have fulfilled 70% of my aims in 2 short years. When I sleep at night I sleep satisfied.

Q. The biggest improvements in KE under your reign?
The structured post training programs, introduction of pHD programs, research centre, timely exams and maintenance of secrecy of the examination system. An Advanced Diagnostic Lab with first collection store at jail road. And last but not the least auditorium and the cafeteria.

(And to all those waiting ATM is on its way before the end of Feb! Yayyy)

Q. What are the improvements that still need to be made in KE?
A lot of improvement needs to be done. We require land for sports complex, residency for faculty and hostels. New institute for different departments. We have been allocated 122 acres of land. Hopefully in one year we will acquire it.

Q. How tough do you think is being a VC?
I feel pleasure in my work, I expected it to be demanding.

Q. How difficult was maintaining KE status as the top medical university?
It is not easy and depends on the research. In research ranking we were 88 last year and 44 this year. So i hope we keep improving.

Q. One thing you don’t like about being a VC?
The uncalled for criticism and interference of other medical institutions in KE’s affairs. They don’t like to see KEMU’s progress and its degrees in market, whereas our aim is to make KEMU a brand.

“I have never counted how much I make at
the end of the month for the last 35 years.
But obviously if my salary was sufficient I
 would have quit my private practice.”

Q. Who do you take as your role model?
Quaid-e-Azam is and always will be my role model because of his honesty, discipline, straight forwardness and the target he finally achieved.

Q. If you were not a doctor you would be…?
The second immediate answer: In army!

Q. A specialty that you cook?
Omelette. Very good omelette!

Q. A time in your life that you would want to re-visit?
My time in Government College. It was short but it was the best time of my life. I spent only two years there but it had a great impact on me.

“I love all my kids equally but I care
most about my daughter.”

At this point we took the liberty of going rogue and asking =P :
Q. Are you happy with your salary?
I have never counted how much I make at the end of the month for the last 35 years. But obviously if it was sufficient I would have quit my private practice.

Q. Who is your favourite among your kids?
He laughed affectionately and said I love all of them equally but I care most about my daughter.


Q. Describe a kemcolian in three words?
Respectful, disciplined and hard working.

Q. Describe yourself in three words?
The same (Spoken like a rightful leader of kemcolians!)

Q. A message for students?
Whatever happens do not disrespect your teachers, parents and patients. You can never be successful without that. This is my belief and I always act on it.

Q. A word for outgoing final year?
His face lit up and he laughed: I have good friends in that class. Usama Talib, Usama Tahir and Bilal and so many others. I had an amazing interaction with those kids. They are a promising batch. God bless them.

Father of a daughter and 2 sons, all residing in Canada, and VC now for three years, Dr. Asad is undoubtedly the most popular VC among students and teachers. For once the rumours were right! He was as spontaneous and charming as we had heard.

In the end, thank you Dr. Asad for taking out time to answer our eager questions!

Check out other interviews from Behind the Curtains Team!

Dr. M. Zahid (Prof Pharma):

Dr. Kamran Aziz:

Anwar Kala (Anatomy)


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