PESHAWAR: In a clear violation of rules and regulations, University of Peshawar (UoP) awarded a degree to former Pakistan Tehreek-e-Insaf (PTI) MNA Murad Saeed. The PTI leader had allegedly sat, and passed, three exams in just half-an-hour.
UoP Vice-Chancellor (VC) Dr Muhammad Asif Khan bypassed all relevant authorities and the varsity’s powerful syndicate and issued the degree in the middle of summer vacations. A copy of the degree is available with The Express Tribune.
Talking to The Express Tribune, a senior UoP official while asking not to be named shared that the current VC was appointed by the previous PTI-led Khyber-Pakhtunkhwa government on a commitment to resolve this issue and award a degree to the influential PTI MNA. He said that it is a clear violation of Universities Act and BS Regulation 2010 as the three papers were prepared for him without taking care of the time bar and violations of university rules. “This particular case has destroyed the universities rules, regulations and value of a degree. Now every powerful person can get a university degree without any hurdle,” the official shared.
Saeed, who was elected as a member of the National Assembly from Swat in 2013, remained a BS (Hons) student at the UoP Department of Environmental Sciences from 2005 to 2009, and according to the university administration, he had not passed his final exams.
In March 2015, in breach of BS Regulations, 2010, the Department of Environmental Sciences arranged a quick make-up exam for Saeed, who submitted three papers in just half-an-hour. The results were also declared by the department the same day.
Saeed’s degree issue surfaced when the Pakthun Students Federation accused him of passing papers on remote sensing, introduction to environmental sciences, and ecology in one hour.
However, the lawmaker approached the PHC when the university took notice of the issue and started the inquiry. In his petition, he claimed to have attended UoP from 2005 to 2009 for his undergraduate studies and to passing all his courses in the said timeframe.
Former UoP VC Dr Rasul Jan had formed an inquiry committee to probe the PTI lawmaker degree issue. The committee recommended that the concerned department had conducted the make-up examination in violation of established rules and regulations of the varsity as the department cannot arrange make-up exams without seeking permission from the BS committee. The inquiry committee also recommended the cancellation of the result of a make-up exam.
However, the official shared that on March 3, 2018, the Peshawar High Court had referred Saeed’s case to the UoP Syndicate. But without consultation with syndicate members, incumbent UoP VC Dr Khan formed a committee to investigate the degree matter and quietly resolve the issue.
When approached, committee head Prof Dr Bashir Ahmad said that he was not aware of the award of a degree to Saeed, but added that he has been unwell for almost a month and has not been to the university in that time.
UoP Environmental Department Chairman Dr Hizbullah told The Express Tribune that he was not aware of any new developments on the issue while explaining that he was bypassed by the authority.
According to the BS Regulation 2010, the BS examination coordinator would issue a detailed mark sheet with approval from the concerned department chairman, but in this case, the department chairman was bypassed.
VC Dr Khan and Register Dr Zahid Gul were not available for comment.