By Sarmad Ali (Pakdestiny.com) Irfan Siddiqui, special assistant to the prime minister, is making all out efforts to earn Punjab University Vice-Chancellor or Dr Mujahid Kamran a third term.
Despite the strong recommendation of the higher education department, Siddiqui who looks after media affairs persuaded Chief Minister Shahbaz Sharif to ‘gift’ the third term in office to Kamran Mujahid.
Sources close to Mr Siddiqui told Pakdestiny.com that Mr Kamran had accommodated Mr Siddui several times in the past and in return he is ensuring that he is not dropped by Shahbaz Sharif.
Mr Sharif should ensure merit and not be influenced Mr Siddiqui who is close to Prime Minister Nawaz Sharif.
Meanwhile, Dawn reports that the Punjab University teachers staged a demonstration outside the Punjab Assembly here on Monday, demanding the chief minister to remove interim vice chancellor Dr Mujahid Kamran. Holding placards and banners, the teachers chanted slogans against Dr Kamran and demanded the chief minister appoint a regular vice-chancellor on merit.
It seemed the chief minister was being kept in the dark about the ‘facts’ related to Mr Kamran as he was not eligible to be appointed interim vice chancellor under the rules, they said.
The university teachers added that the Higher Education Department had forwarded the summary of senior most professor Dr Taqi Zahid Butt to be appointed as acting VC under the rules but the CM office had unlawfully forwarded the name of Dr Kamran to the governor.
“Dr Kamran is 65 years old and under the PU Act, the extension cannot be given to any outgoing vice chancellor as acting VC,” Assistant Prof Samee Uzair told Dawn.
He said the higher education department secretary had assured the protesting teachers that the matter would be taken up on Tuesday morning.
“If the government does not remove Mr Kamran, the teachers will hold a hunger strike camp on The Mall,” he said, adding the teachers had launched “PU Save Movement” and would continue it till the appointments were made by the university in accordance with the rules and regulations.
The three-hour protest caused disruption to traffic and forced the higher education department officials to hold talks with the protesting teachers. The Punjab government last week asked outgoing VC Dr Mujahid Kamran to continue in his office until the appointment of a regular incumbent.
“As the Vice Chancellors Search Committee has recommended a panel of three candidates to the chief minister to appoint the vice-chancellor for the PU, it has been decided to ask Mr Kamran to continue in office for the interim period,” Punjab Higher Education Secretary Irfan Ali had told Dawn. Dr Kamran is said to be among the three short-listed candidates. – Pak Destiny