Withdrawal: Dr Naqvi quits HEC job race

Published: January 20, 2013
Naqvi’s attempt to regularise contractual and MP scale employees did not sit well with the HEC’s permanent employees. PHOTO: FILE

Naqvi’s attempt to regularise contractual and MP scale employees did not sit well with the HEC’s permanent employees. PHOTO: FILE


In a surprise move, Dr Sohail Naqvi, a prime candidate for post of Higher Education Commission (HEC) executive director, has voluntarily quit the race. The change of heart was publicised on Saturday, when interviews were conducted for the post. The selection board interviewed fourteen candidates and shortlisted three of them.

Naqvi’s attempt to regularise contractual and MP scale employees did not sit well with the HEC’s permanent employees and the case reached the Supreme Court in December, where it was decided that a new ED would be announced within a month.

The controversy started when the Establishment Division termed Naqvi’s reappointment to the post illegal.

Twelve candidates appeared in the interview. The selection board shortlisted the top candidates and recommended their names to the commission for appointment.

The primacy of the reappointment could be gauged from the fact that the Islamabad High Court (IHC) on Friday directed the HEC chairman to appear before it with relevant records after two HEC directors general petitioned the court to challenge Naqvi’s possible reappointment.

The petition contended that the HEC was going to fill the post hastily in collusion with HEC Chairman Dr Javed Leghari and other members of the selection board.

The petition said the board had managed to get the terms and conditions of service changed from what was advertised.

According to the amended terms and conditions, the executive director will be given the status of a vice chancellor instead of an employee in the management pay scale.

The court directed the HEC chairman to appear before the court on Monday with all relevant records.

The 17-member commission of the HEC today (Sunday) will finalise the candidate.

Naqvi told The Express Tribune that he withdrew because he does not feel he can run the commission anymore. He said the HEC had asked him to submit the decision in writing and he did so four days back. “I don’t think I can run the HEC after these events,” said.

Published in The Express Tribune, January 20th, 2013.

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Reader Comments (4)

  • Raza Abbass Baloch
    Jan 20, 2013 - 4:46PM

    A sad day.. HEC looses a great and visionary man..A great loss of higher education and Pakistan.


  • PC
    Jan 20, 2013 - 10:05PM

    Sohail has done the sensible and graceful thing. He is capable of writing his own ticket. I wish him well.


  • Asif Khan
    Jan 21, 2013 - 9:20PM

    What a sad news! Dr. Naqvi gave his best to this nation in rebuilding higher education in Pakistan. He had a profound effect on academic development of hundreds of institutions. In the process he uplifted moral of university faculty making them realize their status in the social setup of the country. Above all he made higher education accessible to thousands of students, especially those who could compete on merit without consideration to their background. I personally know dozens of students from remote villages from Khyber Pakhtunkhwa who competed and won international scholarships or indigenous scholarships for PhD. This was never possible before when federal ministries used to manage foreign scholarship which were mostly distributed between those who had influence.
    Despite all this his disgraced departure from HEC is not surprising. Our nation, especially the mentally handicapped rulers are capable of inflicting even bigger disgrace to those who attempt to bring a drastic change to the destiny of this nation. May Allah bless Dr. Naqvi with success in his future endeavours.


  • Jan 26, 2013 - 10:55PM

    Dr Sohail Naqvi will be remembered and recalled for
    long for his examplary contribution to higher education Sector of Pakistan.
    As a teacher and researcher I feel a strong voice has been depressed but people like
    him will emerge with approach and zeal .Whenever I met Dr Sohail in last
    ten years or so I found him more equipped with new ideas and technologies and was always eager to cooperate ; when I first presented to him the proposal for the development of fiber optics based communications network for UoK his support and interest
    was converted into reality and more than twenty thousand people daily using this network while PERN is another fine example of his team.One may give many examples of higher education infra structures development in his time but there is feeling who will take such pain in future as Dr Sohail has taken.I pray for better future of higher education of Pakistan to provide better HR for future development of Pakistan.Dr.Aqil Burney


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