ISLAMABAD: COMSATS University, Islamabad, has issued a show-cause notice to Izza Asad Rasul, the spouse of former SAPM Shahbaz Gill, asking her to pay back Rs16.8 million for breaching contract terms.
According to a show-cause notice, which is available with The News, Izza proceeded to the USA for pursuing MS leading to PhD studies on the expenses of public exchequer in 2011; however, she did not return even after around 11 years.
Izza Asad Rasul was awarded a scholarship from COMSATS University to pursue MS leading to PhD studies in the field of Labour and Industrial Relations at the University of Illinois, USA. COMSATS and the PhD scholar inked an agreement. According to it, she was bound to complete her PhD degree by 2016 and serve at the university after returning to Pakistan, said the notice.
However, she breached the agreement as she failed to complete her PhD degree by the stipulated time-frame. In addition, she was also irregular in submitting her academic progress reports contrary to the mandatory requirement of submitting them every six months.
“This office sent you repeated reminders to submit the progress reports on regular basis, but you neither responded, nor complied,” said the show-cause notice. It added COMSATS released $99,000 and Rs86,000 in an account of tuition fee, living allowance and air fare from the government funds.
The show-cause notice asked Izza to pay back the amount incurred on her studies along with 25 percent penalty as per the terms of the agreement. Notably, the cumulative dues (actual amount plus 25 percent penalty) on Izza tend to be around Rs16.8 million.
The university sources said that Shahbaz Gill kept using his influence on the university to stop action against her. The News attempted to take the version of Shahbaz Gill on the issue but he refused to comment. In addition, Shahbaz was also sent a questionnaire for days ago but he did not reply it.
However, taking his Twitter handle, Gill gave his reaction on the news story after it was broken by Geo News. He tweeted the student received merit-based scholarship prior to his government, adding it was MS leading to PhD program, the PhD is still underway which can be confirmed by the university. He said his wife will return to Pakistan next year after completion of her PhD studies. "A smear campaign is being run against me and the news story is part of it and I know who is involved in it," tweeted Gill.
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