ISLAMABAD: The appointment of International Islamic University Islamabad (IIUI) president, which will be confirmed in a meeting of the board of directors on May 19, violates the university act.
According to the IIUI Act, the tenure of the university president may not exceed a period of four years and this appointment must be made through a specific procedure followed by the Board of Trustees.
However, on October 11, 2012, President Asif Ali Zardari, in the capacity of Chancellor Board of Trustees, appointed Saudi national Dr Ahmad Yousif A. Al-Draiweesh as the president of IIUI.
Two years later, the Board of Trustees of IIUI during its 10th meeting held on July 1, 2014 at Imam Muhammad Bin Saud Islamic University, Riyadh, endorsed the appointment of Dr Draiweesh for four years, however, with effect from July 2014. The minutes of the last meeting are slated to be confirmed by the board on May 19.
According to documents available with Dawn, on July 14, IIUI issued a notification for the appointment of Dr Draiweesh as president, with effect from July 1, 2014, creating confusion among the faculty members. On May 19, IIUI Board of Trustees will hold its 11th meeting at Awan-i-Sadr, which will be presided over by President Mamnoon Hussain, during which the minutes of the previous meeting will be approved.
According to the IIUI Act, the tenure of the university president should not exceed four years
The clause 13 of IIUI ordinance 1985, which deals with appointment of the president says: “The president shall be appointed by the Board of Trustees, out of a panel to be recommended by the Rector, on such terms and condition as the Board of Trustees may determine and shall hold office for a term not exceeding four years.”
Senior faculty members of the university told Dawn that the appointment of Dr Driaweesh was violating the university act.
“The issue is that Dr Al-Draiweesh was not chosen from a panel presented to the board on merit. If the board approves the appointment made by the chancellor w.e.f October 11, 2012 and the appointment made by the board w.e.f July 1, 2014, Dr Al-Draiweesh would be appointed for a period of six years, which violates Article 13 of the act,” said a faculty member, requesting anonymity.
The meeting of the board which will take place on May 19 will be the first meeting in Pakistan since 2006. The 9th meeting of the board was chaired by then President Gen Pervez Musharraf in 2006. However, under article 18 of the university ordinance, the board is required to meet at least once during a year. Since 2006, the board did not meet until 2014.
When contacted, IIUI Director-General Gulzar Ahmed Khwaja defended the appointment of the university president.
“In the last meeting of the board, the appointment of president has been approved for four-year term with effect from July 1, 2014. So there is no question of debate in the upcoming meeting. However, as a formality, the board will confirm all the decision made in the last meeting,” he said.
Published in Dawn, May 11th, 2015