PESHAWAR: The Senate of Gomal University Dera Ismail Khan has decided to issue show-cause notice to the vice-chancellor of the university Prof Dr Iftikhar for not abiding by the provincial government as well as the university syndicate’s decisions regarding asset distribution with the newly established Agriculture University Dera Ismail Khan.
The meeting of the university’s senate was held here on Tuesday. Provincial Minister for Higher Education Kamran Bangash presided over the meeting. According to the official handout: “The meeting showed anger on Vice-Chancellor Dr Iftikhar over nullifying Gomal University syndicate’s decision regarding Agriculture University assets distribution. The senate decided to issue show cause notice to VC Dr Iftikhar.”
Gomal University and the newly set up Agriculture University have been facing severe administrative and financial problems, which have been leaving adverse effects on the academic performance of the two institutions.
Owing to the vice-chancellor’s decision not to abide by the provincial cabinet’s decision regarding asset distribution with the newly agriculture university, Dr Iftikhar was sent on forced leave in April this year for 90 days. The forced leave was extended for another three months.
However, two days before the expiry of the second term of the forced leave, the vice-chancellor rejoined his office after a decision of the Peshawar High Court. The matter of his rejoining the university was much highlighted in the media and it was referred to as illegal and unlawful as no official notification had been issued for the purpose. But the vice-chancellor continued running the affairs of the university. Some urgent decisions were taken, triggering criticism as a group of teachers and administrative officers was already opposed to his decision.
The vice-chancellor made some transfers and postings. It was alleged that he assigned prized positions to his blue-eyed people and his rivals were victimized. The acceptance of the reported resignation of acting Registrar Ali Abid sparked a new controversy. The vice-chancellor said that he had rendered the resignation written in his own handwriting.
Ali Abid, however, first believed that the resignation was taken from him at gunpoint. Later he denied tendering resignation and termed the document fake on the basis of which he was removed from service.
The most important decision was that of not accepting the provincial government’s directives and the university syndicate’s decision regarding asset distribution. Meanwhile, the anti-vice-chancellor lobby remained very much active to highlight every action on social media.
The alleged fake experience certificates of the vice-chancellor and reported deal with the government through the chief minister’s brother were repeatedly circulated on social media. The governor finally called the university’s Senate meeting, which decided to issue the show-cause notice to the vice-chancellor.
The university’s syndicate during the two terms of his forced leave had held four meetings during which the asset distribution had been accorded approval. However, Dr Iftikhar challenged the legal status of the three meetings – 107th, 109th and 110th – of the syndicate.
In his detailed letter to the secretary Higher Education Department, he requested to incorporate the points mentioned in the letter in his briefing to the Senate. According to the letter, Dr Iftikhar had been sent on forced leave on April 21, 2021 and in the absence of pro-vice-chancellor of the university, the additional charge of the office was given to the vice-chancellor of newly established Agriculture University Dr Masroor Elahi Babar.
The chancellor allowed the former officiating vice-chancellor to conduct syndicate meetings on a single point agenda as per the directives of the Peshawar High Court to avoid contempt of court proceedings, the letter stated.
Dr Masroor called an emergency meeting of the syndicate on June 26, 2021. The members of the syndicate participated in the meeting with the expectation of a single point agenda item to implement the directives of the high court. But, the letter claimed, Dr Masroor misused the situation and placed nine agenda items on the table mostly related to policy matters for which he was not empowered by the universities’ act.
The items included approval of minutes of the meeting of the asset distribution committee. The letter further claimed that 10 out of 18 members of the meeting disowned the items of 107th emergency meeting of the syndicate except one agenda item as directed by the chancellor.
The original minutes of 107, 109 and 110 of the Gomal University were still in the possession of Prof Dr Masroor. The minutes of 107th meeting of the syndicate were also concealed from the Peshawar High Court, the letter further claimed.
The letter also quoted a paragraph from the speaking order of the high court stating: “All demands and proceedings regarding transfer and distribution of assets of the Gomal University DI Khan to the newly established Agriculture University DI Khan being without lawful authority and jurisdiction are hereby set aside.”
The vice-chancellor claimed that all the proceedings of the four meetings of the university syndicate were unlawful. The Peshawar High Court had directed the provincial government to refer matters pertaining to the asset distribution to the university syndicate.
Now, the government claimed that the decisions regarding asset distribution had been taken by the university syndicate and verified in its three successive meetings, while the vice-chancellor terms all the proceedings of the syndicate as unlawful and without legal authority.
The situation has, however, been adversely affecting the administrative and academic functioning of two universities, which have already been experiencing the worst financial crunch, polarization of teachers and administrative officials and other problems.
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