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June 25, 2020

GIT finds no irregularities in affairs of KMU

Peshawar

June 25, 2020

PESHAWAR: The report of the Governor’s Inspection Team (GIT) has found no irregularities in the affairs of the Khyber Medical University (KMU).

The Khyber Pakhtunkhwa governor, who is chancellor of the public sector universities in the province, had instructed the GIT to probe the matter of concealment of the dual nationality of KMU Vice-Chancellor Prof Dr Arshad Javaid, the construction of liver transplant centre at KMU and transparency in recruitment/hiring carried out during his tenure.

In the light of a ruling of the Khyber Pakhtunkhwa Assembly, the Higher Education Department (HED) had moved a file on the issue of dual nationalities of vice-chancellors and some faculty members in universities in KP.

The KP Assembly in its ruling had sought opinion of the Law and other relevant departments on the matter.

Our January 10, 2020 a news story was published in this paper with bureau report that shed light on the issue of dual nationality with reference to the Supreme Court rulings that had stated that dual nationals were Pakistani citizens with additional citizenship of another country and there was no bar on them to enter into employment in the country.

The report was based on a provincial assembly ruling on January 7, 2020 about dual nationality of KMU Vice-Chancellor Dr Arshad Javaid.

Sources had told this scribe that in light of the opinion from the relevant departments the file on dual nationality was closed.

During the 7th January session of the KP Assembly along with the issue of dual nationality and its concealment, an opposition member in an unprecedented move also levelled allegations against the vice chancellor of KMU that he was opposing the construction of the liver transplant centre at the university.

He was also accused of committing irregularities in recruitment and promoting nepotism.

The GIT gathered the relevant record, visited the KMU multiple times and interviewed various staff members including the vice-chancellor, the pro-vice chancellor, the registrar, admin officers, NESPAK-consultant for the liver transplant centre, and other faculty members.

\The member provincial assembly (MPA), who raised the issue in the assembly, also recorded a written statement on the issue to the GIT.

On receipt of statement of the MPA, the team revisited KMU to collect the relevant record in order to evaluate the observations raised by the MPA.

Although the GIT completed its inquiry by early March and subsequently submitted a report to the governor, the findings were not made public.

However, Prof Arshad Javaid was directed to continue as the vice-chancellor of KMU, and the university was communicated to lift the ban on holding of the syndicate meeting.

This correspondent managed to get a copy of the GIT report on KMU.

The report said that Prof Arshad Javaid has never concealed his dual nationality as he had informed the Higher Education Department about it in 2018.

He used his British passport for travel and the FIA’s exit and entry stamps were the proof that he never concealed his dual nationality and the allegations that he had concealed his dual nationality were baseless.

On the issue of the failure of establishment of the Liver Transplant Centre at KMU, the GIT report said that the deliberate underestimation of the cost of the project was done by the previous administration to avoid going to ECNEC for approval, which delayed the project.

The GIT found no evidence of embezzlement of funds as alleged by the MPA.

The perception that KMU was unwilling to establish the liver transplant unit was illogical and based on incorrect assumption.

The GIT has recommended that KMU shall submit revised PC-1 to the competent authority for approval.

On the transparency of recruitment at KMU, the GIT in its report mentioned the rigorous process put in place for appointments at KMU.

It pointed out that all codal formalities were completed for every post and there were no signs of irregularities or nepotism in the recruitment process.

As per record of regular appointments, 181 budgeted/ sanctioned positions in KMU Peshawar and Kohat Campus have been filled.

The GIT found no evidence of nepotism or high number of inducted persons from Dr. Arshad’s native Karak, in any of the appointments as the recruitment was made through statutory bodies/forums.

For contractual employment the GIT has used similar remarks stating that all codal formalities have been fulfilled and no favoritism/nepotism was noticed.

The GIT also conducted a investigation into individual appointment cases and found no irregularities.

It observed that that there are still 478 vacant positions in KMU, meaning that filling of posts was not the priority of the administration as alleged. Any burden on finances by hiring new faculty was

offset by increasing revenue by introducing new programmes and increasing the number of students.

In 30 months tenure of Dr Arshad Javaid the number of students increased from 2668 to 4048 which resulted in an increase in revenue of Rs 260 millions.

The report further said that KMU invested Rs1438.6 million in various banks by year 2017 and in the tenure of Dr Arshad Javaid Rs771 million were added increasing the KMU investments to Rs2215.6 millions making KMU as one of the few financially stable universities in the province.

In its recommendations, the GIT stated that the allegations levelled against the incumbent VC KMU could not be proved.

KMU administration may submit a revised PC-1 to the quarters concerned with the request to evaluate the actions of responsible persons for restricting estimation within Rs.01 billion, which is the primary reason for delay in executing the project.

The GIT pointed out that pro-VC always created problems for the vice-chancellor.

To support its argument, it cited the example of Abbottabad University whose pro-VC was found guilty and detained for a mishap on campus.

The GIT recommended abolishing the post of pro-VC in all public sector universities in the province.

The GIT also recommended that the ban on holding syndicate meeting may be lifted so as to enable them to decide matters pertaining to approval of new academic PhD programmes, admission of faculty in foreign universities, pension/promotion cases and disciplinary matters.

The GIT informed the governor that there was no truth in the allegations that were made at a time when KMU Vice-Chancellor Dr Arshad Javaid was being considered for extension.

It is alleged that his detractors or the ones lobbying for the coveted position were out to prevent Arshad Javaid from getting extension.

When reached, Prof Arshad Javaid refused to comment on the report of the GIT.