Shams Kassim-Lakha appointed HEC Chairman

Published: September 1, 2013
File photo of Shams Kasim Lakha. PHOTO: EXPRESS/FILE

File photo of Shams Kasim Lakha. PHOTO: EXPRESS/FILE

Former president of Aga Khan University, Shams Kassim-Lakha was appointed Higher Education Commission (HEC) Chairman on Sunday, Express News reported.

Lakha has served extensively in the education sector, including the role of caretaker minister for science and technology. Moreover, the PPP had also suggested him as a caretaker prime minister earlier in the year.

Earlier this week, Prime Minister Nawaz Sharif had turned down a request for extending the tenure of former HEC Chairman Javed Laghari by another four years. The request had been sent by the Ministry of Education, Training and Standards in Higher Education.

Appointed as chairman in August 2009, Laghari’s term ended on August 26 this week.

Secretary for Ministry of Science and Technology Akhlaq Ahmad Tarar held the acting charge as HEC’s chief till Lakha’s appointment on premier’s orders.

According to HEC Ordinance, the prime minister is the controlling authority of the HEC and the shortlisted names are to be forwarded to him for the final say.

Correction: An earlier version of the story incorrectly spelled Shams Kassim-Lakha as Shams Qasim Lakha. The error is regretted.


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Reader Comments (41)

  • erudite
    Sep 1, 2013 - 6:46PM

    good decision, we expect Mr. Shams to make HEC as he has made AKU a great place of learning.


  • Redmax!
    Sep 1, 2013 - 7:01PM

    Good Bye, Mr. Leghari.


  • Luciferous
    Sep 1, 2013 - 7:43PM

    This is an excellent opportunity for Federal or Sindh government to utilize Dr Laghari’s talent.
    He would be an appropriate candidate for Secretary education or Vice Chancellor of any university in Pakistan
    Best wishes to Dr. Laghari.


  • Muhammad Ahsan KHAN
    Sep 1, 2013 - 8:16PM

    How many research papers have been published by Shams Qasim Lakha in international scientific jounals???


    What is his scientific research research experience??


    Any Allah Rakha can be appointed HEC president.

    My good wishes to Pakistani Scientist.




  • shahzad
    Sep 1, 2013 - 8:24PM

    Before all the PTI fans start politicizing this decision read this article about mr shams he is man of honor and respect ..wise decision yet again by nawaz after appointing nasir khosa for world bank post…i hope mr shams revolutionize HEC just like he did with Agha khan university and shukat khanum hospital is the link


  • MJK
    Sep 1, 2013 - 8:56PM

    Wow. Great choice. Finally someone who has the intellect and the ability to take the HEC to the standards it was supposed to deliver (but never did).
    SKL is the one person who understands and can fight the political beurocracy in Pakistan and will surely have a positive impact on our educational systems. Finally, light at the end of the tunnel. God speed.


  • elcay
    Sep 1, 2013 - 9:09PM

    How can he (in Sindh) when all the powers of Universities have been usurped by the CM?Recommend

  • Aslam Parvaiz Punaily
    Sep 1, 2013 - 9:14PM

    Lakha is a best option for HEC chairman..


  • Azher
    Sep 1, 2013 - 9:52PM

    Except Sindh all the powers are in CM’s hand. So, I don’t know why in Sindh, people feel pain when powers are transferred from Governor to CM.


  • Zeeshan
    Sep 1, 2013 - 10:07PM

    in the tenure of last chairman hec proved well but i think we should also oversee some other one perhaps he prove a better than the last one.


  • HK
    Sep 1, 2013 - 10:30PM

    An eminently sensible decision.


  • Mohammad Ali
    Sep 1, 2013 - 10:40PM

    Shams Qasim Lakha is an honest and bold person like Ataur Rahman,. Good choice by PM.


  • Muhammad Khan
    Sep 1, 2013 - 11:07PM

    Lets hope for the best. Apparently a better decision. He was one of the architects of MUO and HEC.


  • Professor
    Sep 2, 2013 - 12:07AM

    Not a bad choice. He is a good and fair person. But surprised he accepted the job since Pak universities are political hellholes and faculty is even worse than national politics. That is why Dr Adil Najam who had been offered the job earlier has refused. Am told that Najam had ever refused offer to ‘take some time to think about it’ and had refused immediately. For a scholar I think that was right decision. Good luck to Mr Lakha.


  • Nasim Asmi
    Sep 2, 2013 - 12:16AM

    The appointment of Qasim Lakha is a right decision, he deserves,a right choice for a right position.


  • Voice
    Sep 2, 2013 - 12:49AM

    @ Muhammad Ahsan Khan…..Today’s HEC and higher Education reform is stirred by Shams Lakha.

    We have many professors with highly published papers, what do you do with their bublications, let professors to train students and young researchers….and let Educator and policy development….

    He Planned HEC’s reform, when it ws called UGC, his role in Central Asia and all over the world for education and development of society holds a great experience.

    this link might help,

    Its a great decision by government.


  • Umar
    Sep 2, 2013 - 12:50AM

    best choice highly skilled full & motivated person (Y)


  • Kaleem
    Sep 2, 2013 - 12:53AM

    Great option & good decision


  • Mohammad Ali Siddiqui
    Sep 2, 2013 - 1:26AM

    The new Chairman is from a minority community of Pakistan.


  • Sep 2, 2013 - 2:31AM

    A wonderful decision. Though Dr Ata ur Rehman and Dr Leghari are good people, it is necessary to replace them in order to build institutions, not just focus on personalities.


  • Shujaat
    Sep 2, 2013 - 5:53AM

    Agree to the choice , if and only if Mr.Chairman don’t play or don’t get played by politics. And he comes out as a good policy maker for better and progressive for research institutions in Pakistan.


  • ahsan
    Sep 2, 2013 - 6:20AM

    Train students when you did not even allow the 10% raise in salary to HEC appointed professors this year. Rather their pays were reduced thanks to higher tax on them, with no pensions and retirement benefits for them. Hope the new chairman takes that up with the PM.


  • Asim Qavi
    Sep 2, 2013 - 8:30AM

    Surprised by the decision. Thought they would not go for a private sector univ person. If they had to then Dr Adil Najam would have been a much better choice since he is real scholar and visionary and dynamic. But I wish HEC and Mr Lakha success. (By the way, is he a PhD, shoudl we call him Dr or Prof?)


  • Faisal Ahmad Jafri
    Sep 2, 2013 - 9:29AM

    Shahzad, you seem to be obsessed with PTI. Has any PTI supporter said anything so far on this forum?


  • Dr. Salman Ali
    Sep 2, 2013 - 9:34AM

    Dr. Lakha is a man with very high standards. He has never compromised on merit and I am sure that a man of his character is desperately needed to raise the standard of education at our universities and create graduates of high calibre. His role in the rise of AKUH as one of the best medical and nursing colleges is a testament to his ability and foresight.


  • Noor Ali
    Sep 2, 2013 - 9:52AM

    Indeed, a very good choice appointing Mr. Shams Lakha, a person with integrity and intelect, a founding president of Aga Khan University.


  • Raaz
    Sep 2, 2013 - 11:07AM

    I wish him best of luck in his new role. We hope Mr Qasim Lakhani would contribute alot in education sector of pakistan as he is honnest and bold person and did will with AKUH.


  • Saleem S. Chandani
    Sep 2, 2013 - 12:56PM

    Earlier he contributed a lot to Government of Pakistan in the sector of Education. We hope to see his active and effective role in Higher Education Commission. Good Luck to him.


  • Sep 2, 2013 - 2:53PM

    @ Mr. Mohammad Ali Siddiqui, for your meaningless and worthless concern that he is not from a minority community…At least think for a while before buffing out words…i believe he is a very good Muslim than millions of people like you…if you say why the arguments and comments by above all visitors are quite enough to keep ur mouth shut up…Kindly change your thoughts plz…there would be definitely some reason if this man has been appointed.


  • mrs ahmed
    Sep 2, 2013 - 4:08PM

    @Mohammad Ali Siddiqui:
    look at ur frame of mind , u are not worried about his abilities to run this organization so vital for our educational system , what came up which always formost on prejudiced mind that “he belongs to minority community”
    Mashaallah , road to success is regious prejudice.Recommend

  • Sonia Wahab
    Sep 2, 2013 - 7:25PM

    If he is from minority then what’s the problem. It is a pride for everyone. WHy some people are not taking it as a positive aspect instead normalising it as if it is nothing.


  • Rahim
    Sep 2, 2013 - 11:14PM

    Its a wise decission


  • Khan Sk
    Sep 3, 2013 - 3:08AM

    The HEC needs a Reformer Like Shams Lakha with proven credibility of one of the prestigious Institution of Excellence.The right decision for the Higher Education in Pakistan.Wish him the best of luck.


  • Yaser Khan
    Sep 3, 2013 - 3:49AM

    All i can say is, wish Lakha sb best of luck. From this platform I request him to pay special attn on foll:

    Some customer/ client handling training for HEC employees (specially sitting in attestation dept). They dont have etiquettes to deal with people.
    Establish regional offices of HEC attestation cells, specially in remote cities of Pakistan, like Quetta, Hydrabad, Gilgit etc.
    Formulate favorable constitution for students who transfered their credit hours from different institutions (which were not recognized by HEC), however attained higher degrees from HEC recognized universities, based on credit hours transfered. Those degree awarding universities should also be penalized, who accepted credit hours of HEC unrecognized institutions. This chaos has put future of many students at stake :(

  • Gulguncha
    Sep 3, 2013 - 9:18AM

    Great news, this is the best decision for Education in Pakistan. I wish Dr. Shams Kassim Lakha ever kind success .


  • saloo bhai
    Sep 3, 2013 - 11:10AM

    Mr. Shamas Kassim Lakha already have a questionable record; as he destroyed Agha Khan University set up by shifting its focus to South Africa instead of Pakistan. What can you expect from him?


  • Asif
    Sep 3, 2013 - 12:24PM

    A good decision and a person with proven track record has been given reins of HEC.


  • GH
    Sep 3, 2013 - 1:47PM

    These small steps can bring change in Pakistan… happy to see Mr. Lakha as a HEC Chairman!


  • safdar
    Sep 3, 2013 - 2:21PM

    Mr. Muhammad Ali Siddiqui

    Mr. Shams belongs to Shia Ismaili Muslim community not from minority community, please dont consider them as minority. The founder of Pakistan is also belongs to this community.


  • AR Sajid
    Sep 19, 2013 - 7:15PM

    again,,,irresponsible reporting
    still there is no chairman of HEC…The news is totally false…
    Can newspaper take action against false news reporter?


  • Zahoor Ahmed
    Oct 3, 2013 - 6:40AM

    Best Choice Of Credible And Honest Personality Shams Qasim Lakha ,,,,,,,We Wish Shams Lakha Ever Kind Success,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,


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