The decision to appoint a new International Islamic University Islamabad (IIUI) rector, taken by the varsity’s vice president in the absence of the president, has exposed differences of opinion regarding who should fill the top slot.
A letter with the signature of IIUI Academics Vice President Dr Mumtaz, who is also the acting president, highlighted the fact that the university has been without a permanent rector for almost a year and that the current additional rector, Masoom Yasinzai, cannot give enough time to the varsity as he is also the vice chancellor of Quaid-e-Azam University.
“The Higher Education Commission Chairman Javaid Laghari recently wrote a strongly worded letter of recommendation to the President of Pakistan, who is the chancellor of IIUI, to appoint Dr Sahibzada Sajidur Rehman, presently the administration and finance vice president, as the permanent rector,” the letter stated.
The letter also carried another memo which was to be sent to the President of Pakistan after being signed by IIUI President Professor Dr Ahmad Yousif Al-Draiweesh, who is currently in Saudi Arabia.
Though the letter reached its addressees in Saudi Arabia and the Pakistani presidency, it also got to the university and caused a ruckus among the top management.
The presidency returned the letter to the university with instructions to send the written consent of Al-Draiweesh, along with Laghari’s recommendation letter.
Interestingly, when the letter was written, additional rector Yasinzai was not taken into confidence at any level. He told The Express Tribune that the letter was not written with his consent.
Sources at the university said the ‘controversial letter’ surfaced when the rector’s office received mail from Dr Mumtaz’s office by ‘mistake’.
Yasinzai was infuriated when he was informed of the letter’s existence as it included negative clauses about him.
When contacted, HEC officials claimed a letter was written regarding the rector’s appointment to the President of Pakistan which has
been pending for almost a year.
Sources at the HEC said there was no mention of specific names, but “general suggestions” to the president.
“No name was suggested as was mentioned in the letter written by Dr Mumtaz,” said a source.
It was also revealed that upon realising the ‘mistake’ committed by the clerical staff in Mumtaz’s office, both Mumtaz and Rehman apologised for the letter.
Yasinzai was visibly displeased over the mention of his name in the letter alluding that he cannot perform his duties.
“Why are they dragging my name in this fiasco without any reason and for what lapse of attention am I being blamed?” he asked.
Published in The Express Tribune, August 1st, 2013.