Noor Aftab (The News)
Islamabad: President Mamnoon Hussain has rejected the summary carrying names of three eminent persons for the post of vice chancellor of Karakoram International University (KIU) and directed the relevant authorities to send new names for this post, sources told this scribe here on Sunday.
According to rules, the Search Committee that is formed by Higher Education Commission (HEC) shortlists applicants and holds interviews after which it prepares a list containing names of three selected candidates and moves it to Senate of KIU. The KIU Senate then gives its final approval and sends the list to the president who is the chancellor of KIU.
Sources said President Mamnoon Hussain on January 28 rejected three names forwarded by 15-member Senate of KIU for the vice chancellor and directed it to include new names in the list in the face of allegations regarding favouritism by some of its members.
The official record showed that the Search Committee received 76 applications for the slot of the vice chancellor of KIU out of which nine persons were shortlisted during a meeting held on January 10.
The Search Committee held interviews of these nine persons on January 16 and three names were included in the summary in order of priority that was sent to the president after duly approved by Senate of KIU.
“The summary carried three names including Dr. Iftikhar Ahmad, chairman of Pakistan Agricultural Research Council, Dr. Asif from Peshawar University and Dr. Muhammad Mohmand from Education Development Department of KIU. The President rejected all three names and directed Senate of KIU to include news names in the list,” the sources said.
The official record showed that KIU Vice Chancellor Dr. Najma Najam completed her four-year term on June 10, 2013 after which she was given six months extension by the president on the recommendation of KIU Senate.
“The president then directed the HEC to constitute a Search Committee and forward names for the post of the vice chancellor of KIU within six months,” the record said.
The Search Committee constituted by HEC comprised Dr. Mukhtar Ahmad, Shahnaz Wazir Ali, Dr. Qamar Velani, Batool Qureshi, Dr. Nizamuddin, Professor Imtiaz and Professor Manzoor Ali.
The official record revealed that Chief Minister of Gilgit-Baltistan Syed Mehdi Shah complained against KIU VC Dr. Najma Najam through a letter sent to then president Asif Ali Zardari on May 29, stating “The tenure of present Vice Chancellor Dr. Najma Najam is likely to conclude on 10th June, 2013. It is to inform with regret that her tenure in KIU remained disputed, which has badly affected the image of the sole institution of Gilgit-Baltistan.”
Dr. Najma Najam, who also applied for another four-year term as the KIU VC told this correspondent that the summary prepared by the Search Committee after the interviews carried her name at the initial stage but later it was removed by Senate of KIU, adding “It is enough and I would not further comment on this issue.”
Afzal Shigri, who was head of Senate of KIU, said that they followed the rules and all three names were selected on merit and sent to the president in line with the given procedures.
Talking to this scribe, Chief Minister of Gilgit-Baltistan Syed Mehdi Shah said the vice chancellor of KIU should be appointed in line with rules and procedures and it is not fair to pay disregard to decisions of relevant persons or committees.
Syed Moazam Ali, Director General Coordination Universities at President Secretariat, said that President Mamnoon Hussain has rejected the names given in the summary regarding appointment of the vice chancellor of KIU and there is no further development at the moment in this respect.
Spokesperson of the President House Saba Mohsin Raza said that the president received summary for appointment of the vice chancellor of KIU and he issued orders following the relevant rules and procedures.