ISLAMABAD: The Islamabad High Court on Monday ordered the government to appoint a new Higher Education Commission (HEC) chairperson within 15 days, Express News reported.
Over two months after the court-ordered deadline to appoint a permanent HEC chairperson, the post still remains empty.
Former HEC chief Javaid Laghari’s term had expired on August 26, 2013. On November 12, 2013, the government had handpicked University of Engineering and Technology Peshawar (UET) Vice Chancellor Imtiaz Hussain Gilani for the post on acting charge. His tenure ended on February 12, 2014.
The government was under strict instructions from the Islamabad High Court to appoint a permanent head before February 12 and in January it announced that a six-member panel would determine the right man for this key job.
Three names were dropped for unknown reasons and eventually a three-member committee – headed by Minister for Planning and Development Ahsan Iqbal, and including State Bank of Pakistan’s former governor Dr Ishrat Hussain and Dr MB Shami – started its work.
The committee, after going through the credentials of the applicants, had initially shortlisted 21 names from among 103 applications. On February 11, Iqbal-led committee chose three names — the incumbent HEC Executive Director Dr Mukhtar Ahmad, National Textile University Faisalabad’s Rector Dr Niaz Ahmad Akhtar, and Karakoram International University’s former vice-chancellor Dr Najma Najam.
However, all the names were rejected by the PM, who is the controlling authority.
Iqbal was ordered to repeat the process, but he refused and excused himself. A new committee, headed by Khawaja Asif, was notified.
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