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January 12, 2015

Future of 13,000 Fuuast students at stake


January 12, 2015

The Federal Urdu University of Arts, Science and Technology (Fuuast) is facing an existential crisis due to corruption, mismanagement, irregularities and illegalities in the affairs of the university, well informed sources told The News on Sunday.
The university is facing severe administrative and financial crisis since the appointment of Dr. Zafar Iqbal as vice chancellor, they said, adding rampant corruption has now become institutionalised and lucrative business in the university while incompetent and inefficient administration has deeply been involved in massive irregularities and financial scams.
Consequently, academic and research activities have totally ceased and paralysed and future of the university, which has over 13,000 students, is at stake. These illegal activities is in context, influence and impact certainly much more than frauds and bribery while it relates to various forms of mismanagement and corrupt practices as well, the sources said.
“Vice Chancellor Prof. Dr. Zafar Iqbal, has severally and blatantly used his official position for personal advantages and monetary benefits. He had appointed his friends, relatives and family members on key administrative and academic posts in gross violations of law, merit and transparency. Now affairs of the university are being run by these persons on day to day basis,” the sources said.

Issue of forced leave
The Senate is the highest decision-making authority of the university and under section 18(1) of Federal Urdu University of Arts, Sciences and Technology Ordinance, 2002 (Ordinance No. CXIX of 2002). It has the power of general supervision over the university and shall hold the vice chancellor and the authorities accountable for all the functions of the university.
Furthermore, section 17(5) of the ordinance provides that ‘the senate shall meet at least twice in a calendar year’ and its meeting will be called by the vice chancellor as per statutory rules framed

under the ordinance. However, it has been almost two years but Prof. Dr. Zafar Iqbal did not call any meeting of the senate, which amounts to gross violation of law, the sources pointed out.
In order to avoid any deadlock and look into the financial matters pertaining to the approval of different appointments, the President of Pakistan, who is the chancellor of the university, called an urgent meeting of the senate in order to save the university from complete disaster.
In this regard, on December 20, 2014, a meeting of the Senate was called at the Aiwan-e-Sadar and the deputy chairman of the Senate presided the 26th meeting of the senate and it was resolved unanimously to send the Vice Chancellor Prof. Zafar Iqbal on forced leave and terminate the registrar Dr. Fahim Uddin with immediate effect to ensure an impartial enquiry without possible influence of the current management, the sources told The News.
On account of continuous unlawful acts and complaints from various quarters relating to the gross mismanagement and financial misappropriation in the affairs of the university, Deputy Registrar Ali Zaman Shah, in pursuance of directions of the Chancellor of the University and Senate of the University suspended the registrar, through letter vide reference no.DRA/II/001/2014, December 26, 2014, and sent the vice chancellor on three months forced leave reckoned with effect from December 20, 2014, and Vice Chancellor of University of Karachi Prof. Dr. Muhammad Qaiser was bestowed with additional charge of vice chancellor of the Federal Urdu University through letter vide reference no. DRA/II/002/2014 dated December 26, 2014.
However, in a backlash Registrar Prof. Dr. Fahim Uddin suspended the Deputy Registrar Ali Zaman Shah under the instructions of the vice chancellor, Prof. Dr. Zafar Iqbal.
In the meanwhile, Prof. Dr. Zafar Iqbal was granted stay order by a division bench of Sindh High Court. Previously, Zafar Iqbal had also obtained a stay order against the enquiry initiated by the Higher Education Commission (HEC) under directions of the Chancellor/President of Pakistan, the sources said.
Due to ongoing crisis, Prof. Muhammad Qaiser did not join the Federal Urdu University. So, at present there is no vice chancellor, registrar, treasurer, controller of examinations, deputy registrar at the university, while various faculties are operating without a full time dean, the sources pointed out.

Question of existence
The academic progress is deteriorating with the passage of time and teachers and students would face a bleak future if effective measures were not taken against the incompetent, inefficient and corrupt vice chancellor of the university as well as registrar and treasurer.
The Federal Urdu University of Arts, Sciences and Technology is a statutory body and public functionary. It was established on 13th November 2002 under section 3 of the Federal Urdu University of Arts, Science and Technology Ordinance, 2002 (Ordinance No. CXIX 2002).
It is therefore requested to the vice chancellor to accept the unanimous decision of the Senate and save the image and prestige of the university. Further the future of 13,000 students and around 1,000 employees is at stake. It is a humble request to the President of Pakistan/Chancellor of the Fuuast, prime minister, Chief Justice Supreme Court of Pakistan, academia and civil society to help to sort out the ongoing crisis.

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