Tuesday April 23, 2024

HEC member raises concern over ‘power abuse’ in varsities

By Our Correspondent
February 22, 2024

LAHORE: Dr Iqrar Ahmad Khan, Vice-Chancellor of the University of Agriculture Faisalabad and member of the Higher Education Commission (HEC) in Islamabad, has brought to light pressing concerns regarding the misuse of positions and titles of Pro-Vice Chancellors (PVCs) in universities across the Punjab province.

The entrance of the HEC building in Islamabad. — HEC website
The entrance of the HEC building in Islamabad. — HEC website

In a formal communication addressed to the HEC Chairman Dr Mukhtar Ahmad Khan, Dr Iqrar Ahmad Khan expressed profound concerns, citing potential contempt of the Supreme Court of Pakistan. The letter, referenced as DO No.VC/2023/215, underscores the significance of two landmark judgments by the Supreme Court of Pakistan: HRC No. 13865-P of 2018 and Civil Appeals No 326-L & 327-L of 2020. These judgments serve as the cornerstone of Dr Iqrar Ahmad Khan's argument against the ‘improper’ use of titles and positions within provincial universities, particularly emphasising the role of PVCs. The communication highlights instances both across Punjab, where concerns regarding the constitution of selection boards have been raised. Additionally, attention was drawn to a write petition #331/24 filed by Hamza Mubeen in Lahore High Court, Rawalpindi Bench, shedding light on alleged abuses of power and authority by then acting Vice-Chancellor. Instances have been outlined wherein the current acting VC convened the Syndicate multiple times over recent months, initiating inquiries purportedly beyond the jurisdiction of the Acting VC, and syndicate. The current acting VC faces accusations of fraudulent appointments. Specifically, it is alleged that he appointed two of his close friends as professors emeritus, allegedly in violation of rules set forth by the Higher Education Commission.