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US professor’s plea

December 03, 2018


I AM an expatriate Pakistani and work as an educational administrator and professor at a US-based university. I have enjoyed a very successful academic career owing to my pre-doctorate education in Pakistan.

Recently, an advertisement by the Higher Education Commission (HEC) of Pakistan for the position of an executive director caught my attention. After going through the application form on the HEC website, I noticed several items that I feel can hamper any merit-based selection. First, the item number six is problematic as it asks for the marital status of the applicant. To my mind, all applicants be assessed regardless of their marital status.

Secondly, item number seven asks about the candidate’s religion, which is unnecessary.

Thirdly, the maximum age for the position has been set at 60 years. This means a limiting factor in attracting many outstanding applicants. In Pakistan, if the vice chancellor of a university can start his job at 65, why is it necessary to hire an executive director of the HEC who is to be less than 60 years?

As the PTI government was elected on the agenda of merit-based opportunities for all Pakistanis, I request the prime minister that the HEC directorship job be re-advertised by taking into account the above-mentioned points.

Dr Prof Khalique Ahmed

United States

Published in Dawn, December 3rd, 2018