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June 19, 2017



Five applicants interviewed for KMU VC’s position

Lengthy process as job was advertised in Nov 2016


PESHAWAR: The Academic and Search Committee on Sunday finally interviewed the five applicants shortlisted for the post of vice-chancellor of the Khyber Medical University (KMU).

The applicants were called to Islamabad and the interviews were held at the Khyber Pakhtunkhwa House.The Academic and Search Committee members Dr S. Suhail H. Naqvi, Dr Ishrat Hussain, Dr Ghulam Abbas Miana, Dr Akram Sheikh, Dr Arif Nazir Butt and Secretary Higher Education Khyber Pakhtunkhwa Syed Zafar Ali conducted the interviews.

Those shortlisted and called for the interviews included Dr Arshad Javaid, Dr Mukhtiar Zaman Afridi, Dr Noorul Iman, Dr Abid Jamil and Dr Jawad Ahmad.Dr Arshad Javaid has served as dean of the Postgraduate Medical Institute (PGMI) and remained chief executive ?of the Hayatabad Medical Complex (HMC) and Lady Reading Hospital (LRH) as well as head of Pulmonology Department LRH. He is currently working as Dean MTI LRH.

Dr Mukhtiar Zaman Afridi has served as head of Pulmonology Department, Khyber Teaching Hospital (KTH) and is presently serving as dean LRH.Dr Noorul Iman is a physician and has served as Special Secretary Health Khyber Pakhtunkhwa government and principal Khyber Medical College (KMC). He was recently appointed as Dean KMC when the position was advertised following the implementation of Medical Teaching Institutions Reforms Act 2015.

Dr Abid Jamil is an oncologist and is said to be the pioneer of specialist services in oncology in the public sector hospitals in the province. Besides his other qualifications, he is a PhD and head of the Oncology Department at the HMC.Dr Jawad Ahmad is a senior faculty member at the KMU. ?He is head of Institute of Basic Medical Sciences (IBMS) in KMU.

The Academic and Search Committee will now send three names to the chief minister Khyber Pakhtunkhwa to choose one among them and forward it to the governor for
 appointment as the vice-chancellor of the KMU. The governor can send back the same name to the chief minister if he doesn’t agree with the chief minister on the proposed candidate.

However, the governor is bound to appoint the same person as vice-chancellor if the chief minister sends this name to him? for the second time.The provincial Higher Education Department advertised the position in November 2016 and then forgot to call the shortlisted candidates for the interviews.

Some of the applicants held the scrutiny committee responsible for its failure to complete the process in time.The post fell vacant after Dr Hafizullah completed his eight-year tenure as vice-chancellor of KMU on April 30, 2017.

Dr Hafizullah was appointed in 2009 during the rule of the coalition government of Awami National Party and Pakistan People’s Party. He managed to get two extensions in service as vice-chancellor.

It later transpired that the then Secretary Health Mohammad Ashfaq Khan had walked out of the meeting as a mark of protest after opposing the second extension to Dr Hafizullah.The scrutiny committee of HED had initially scrutinised documents of eight candidates and had sent the names to the Academic and Search Committee.

There were reports that some of the applicants later got their names included in the list and the number of the candidates reached 12.They included Dr Jawad Ahmad, Dr Arshad Javaid, Dr Mukhtiar Zaman Afridi, Dr Abid Jamil, Dr Nasir Saeed, Dr Salim Gandapur, Dr Mumtaz Marwat, Dr Noorul Iman, Dr Ziaul Islam, Dr Ijaz Hassan Khan, Dr Ijaz Mohammad Khan, and a retired major general of Army Medical Corps.

It was not less than a shock for the applicants previously scrutinised when they weren’t considered for the interviews even though they had good background of services and achievements in health sector.

Some of the shortlisted candidates criticised the process, saying they were invited to the interviews through a telephone call instead of sending them an official letter.“I was expecting an official letter for the interview. Instead I received a phone call asking me to submit fresh copies of my CV and appear for interview on Sunday,” one of the candidates said on condition of anonymity.

Also, those candidates who were scrutinized but not called for interviews complained that the Higher Education Department didn’t inform them about requirements of the position when they submitted their CVs.

“A section officer manipulated the whole process. He should have asked us about other requirements needed for the post. The section officer, Asad Jan, didn’t know the doctors and their background and all the doctors felt at the time the government should have sought services of Health Department as they knew the doctors and their background,” said one applicant.

He said he had approached the Peshawar High Court (PHC) and challenged the criteria when he was not shortlisted.There were reports that some of the applicants had started making concerted efforts to seek the coveted position of vice-chancellor. Some are said to be using political connections while others are utilising their contacts in the bureaucracy.