IT is unfortunate that the cabinet division, withdrew, under pressure, the Higher Education Commission’s power to verify degrees and handed it over to the newly-established ministry of national health services, regulations and coordination (May 14).
And what is even more horrible is that this is not exactly the first time that this sort of thing has been attempted.
Since the Higher Education Commission was established as an autonomous organisation, with the prime minister as its controlling authority, the HEC is neither an attached department nor a subordinate office of any ministry or division.
A former Higher Education Commission’s chairman, Dr Attaur Rahman, was very specific on this issue and stated clearly that the caretaker government had no right to harm the autonomy of the HEC and that the notification by the cabinet division is illegal.
The current chairman of the HEC, Dr Javaid R. Laghari, said that the role of verifying degrees could be taken away from the Higher Education Commission’s only through an act of parliament, and he has asked his staff to continue verifying degrees.
He has already written a letter to the caretaker prime minister stating that the notification regarding the transfer of power was against the rules and amounts to contempt of the Supreme Court orders.
His meeting with the caretaker prime minister already was scheduled for May 20, when he will put all facts before the prime minister, requesting him to withdraw the notification.
I hope good sense prevails and the caretaker PM issues orders for immediate withdrawal of the illegal notification.
S.R.H. HASHMI Karachi