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Inside story of appointment of VC in PU – summary reveals facts

Summery reveals key facts about who supported whom and why?

Muhammad Ittefaq

A summary forwarded to the chief minister and presented before the Lahore High Court regarding appointment of vice chancellors in four universities of the province has been surfaced with some revealing information regarding biased attitude in the appointment of VC in Punjab University.

According to details, as per the rules, the Secretary Higher Education is bound to recommend three names panel to the chief minister for appointment of a vice chancellor in every university. The same rule was followed in the case of three universities out of four, including Lahore College for Women University, University of Sargodha and UET Multan. However, in the case of Punjab University, only two names were forwarded and a special note was written about Dr. Mujahid Kamran’s suitability, whose age was 64 year and 10 months at the time of application deadline. The eligibility age is 65 years for appointment of VC in a public sector university, as per the rules.

This summary also reflects the biased attitude of Search Committee Convener Syed Bahur Ali and one of the committee member Dr. Zafar Iqbal Qureshi (ZIQ), who is reportedly an employee of LUMS. According to the summary, “The convener said that VC (Dr Mujahid Kamran) had already two terms and his age is 64 years and 10 months, the university should move ahead with fresh leadership and therefore Dr. Mujahid Kamran should not be the part of this panel’.  Dr. Zafar Iqbal Qureshi also supported Dr. Babur Ali’s stance, the summary added.

On the other hand, Punjab Finance Minister Dr. Ayesha Ghaus Pasha and PHEC Chairman Dr. Nizamuddin showed serious reservations on this issue. They said Dr. Mujahid Kamran does comes in the first three in the eligibility criteria and it would not be correct to leave him out.   

Therefore the secretary recommended the CM that he may interview Dr. Mujahid Kamran as the third candidate.

Sources said Dr. Mujahid Kamran speaks against US and American policies openly and he has written many articles and three books against US policies. This could be a possible reason for his opposition by Dr. ZIQ, a former chief of the US party in a project.

This also raise question mark on the formation of Search Committee, as two member from a same organization (LUMS), make it easy to influence any decision.

This summary was signed by then Secretary Higher Education Department, Punjab Irfan Ali dated 20-01-2016.

It is note worthy that current provisional vice chancellor Dr. Zafar Mueen Nasar, Dr Zakria Zakar and Dr Mujahid Kamran were three shortlisted candidate  for appointment of vice chancellor in Punjab University.

For LCWU: three candidates panel included Dr. Rukhsana Kausar, Dr. Shahida Hasnain and Dr. Uzma Qureshi. Dr. Rukhsana Kausar has been appointed as provisional VC by Lahore High Court.

For UoS: Dr Istiaq Ahmed, Dr Tahir Kamran and Dr Zafar Mueen Nasar were candidates. LHC appointed Dr Istiaq Ahmed as VC in University of Sargodha.

For UET Multan: Dr Aamer Ijaz, Dr Muhammad Zubair and Dr Shahid Munir were shortlisted while Dr Muhammad Zubair was appointed. This is also important to note that number 2 candidates was appointed instead of no.1 as in the case of LCWU and UoS. why? This is still unknown.

For PU: Dr Zakria Zakar and Dr Zaffar Mueen Nasar names were included while the third column is empty where Dr. Mujhaid Kamran’s name should have be published technically. Again No. 2 candidate was selected, as the Summary shows Dr. Zakria Zakar name in the first column. Why? this is still unknown.

Normally, it is a general practice that in case of any controversy or stalemate on some decision. The candidate’s name is mentioned in the relavant column but with a asterisk mark, supported by the relevant details.  In this case relevant details were there but asterisk mark and name is missing in the relevant column. Why?  This technical issue has rainsed many questions on the procedure adopted by the search committee.

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